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CHEM 117
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue: The Origins, Perception, and Impact of Color Spring 2021
Division III Quantative/Formal Reasoning

Class Details

Have you ever been tickled pink? Felt blue? Seen red?, Been green with envy? The course will consider color, starting with the physical and chemical origins of color (the electromagnetic spectrum, the absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiation, refraction, diffraction, incandescence, fluorescence, phosphorescence, iridescence). We will develop an understanding of chemical bonding and how that influences color. We will cover how we measure and describe color from a scientific perspective as well as how we can generate materials and devices with different color properties (liquid crystal displays, light emitting diodes for instance). From there we will discuss pigments used in works of art and textiles over time, the characteristics that make certain pigments suitable for particular applications. If we have time, we will touch on the historical and cultural impacts and meanings of different pigments and hues, the biological perception of color, and some color theory.
The Class: Format: lecture/laboratory; There may be some brief laboratory exercises, we won't use the scheduled lab blocks every week, but we will use some.
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 4836
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: exams, problem sets, quizzes, a paper, brief laboratory exercises, and a final exam
Prerequisites: non-science students; students who have taken any introductory chemistry or physics courses are ineligible
Enrollment Preferences: first-years and sophomores
Distributions: Division III Quantative/Formal Reasoning
QFR Notes: This course will require students to become comfortable with some quantitative descriptions of light and its interaction with matter.

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