The Muser
Physics & Physiology of Color

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The Muser

The Color Musings
Additive Mixture
Subtractive Mixture
Complementary Colors
Primary Colors
Hue, Value, Chroma
Predicting Color Mixtures
Young's 3-color Theory
A 3-color System
Land's 2-color System
James Clerk Maxwell
Thomas Young
Hermann von Helmholtz
Edwin H. Land

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Edwin Herbert Land
May 7, 1909—Mar. 1, 1991

The title, "Dr." sometimes attached to Land's name represents an honorary degree. Land was a self-made man, an inventor, engineer, and scientist.

During his student days at Harvard, he experimented with polarized light, and later found ways to use a light polarizing film in a variety of products, such as automobile headlights and sunglasses. He founded the Polaroid Corporation to develop those products.

In the 1940s he invented and marketed a self-processing black & white photographic film, which he refined significantly in later years. In 1963, he introduced a similar process for color photography.

In the mid-1950s, while repeating James Clerk Maxwell's famous three-color photographic experiment, as part of the early research for his color film, he discovered that full color images could be displayed using only two colors , rather than three. Periodically over the next two decades he executed significant research in the field of human color vision, and ultimately postulated the Retinex Theory of Color Vision to explain the phenomena he had discovered.

© J. C. Adamson, 1997

An important modern researcher in color vision. Inventor of light polarizing materials, and the Polaroid camera.

Heyn, Ernest V., Fire of Genius (1976);Wensberg, Peter C., Land's Polaroid: A Company and the Man Who Invented It (1987).