What is the colour of Atom ? | Atoms and Light

Jay Kakade

What is the colour of Atom

Colour of Atoms

Whatever that is visible to us has colours filled in it. But Have you ever wondered, what is the colour of the most fundamental element, i.e. Atom.

Likewise, Our Earth is Blueish Green in Colour. While Mars is red in colour and same way, Sun is White in colour. { Yes, Colour of Sun is White not red or blue. }
But the core element of all this i.e. Atom. Which colour do it possess ?

Atoms are the fundamental particles which make up all things in our universe, right from your phone's screen to Densest Material, Black Hole.

Do You know what is the colour of an Atom ? If Not, then do read this article till end. And if Yes, Then too read it till end. Who knows you will end up with some new information.


Basics about a Atom

Earlier, scientists used to believe that the Atom is indivisible. But now we know the Atom consists of Electrons, Protons and Neutrons.
Neutrons and Protons are in the Nucleus while Electrons Revolves around Nucleus.

Nucleus 99.94% of the mass of an Atom. Size of an atom varies from 0.1 to 0.5 NM ( monometer ). But an atom has 99.9% Empty space.
Now, If we consider the size of Earth as size of Nucleus then its Electron will be of the size of Football Ground.

After this small study of Atom, you would be thinking about 'it's colour'. But before we get to know it's colour, we need to understand What is Colour ?

What is a Colour ?

Well, According to a study the Colours are invention of our Brain. Basically there are no colours in our universe. But to distinguish all things, our brain has did this invention.
Now, You will be thinking then why do we see different things with different colours. Well, to understand this let's shift our topic to 'What is Light ?'

Electromagnetic Lights

What is Light ?

We can say the light is a band of photos. But only when we observe it. Otherwise it behaves like a electromagnetic wave. This phenomenon is electromagnetic waves.
This phenomenon is called Wave particles Duality.

This concept was given by French Scientists Louis De Broglie. All the waves of Light is not similar. Their wavelengths and frequency vary.
Based on this properties, Light is divided into 6 different Categories of Radiations : Gamma Ray, X-Rays, Ultra Violet Radiation, visible light, infrared radiation and radio waves and Microwave.

Radio wave's Wavelength can be from 1 cm to the size of Earth. While wavelength is atomic in size i.e. very very small. But Humans are not able to see such lights. Our eye is able to see only a spectrum of light called Visible Light.
Our Eye is not made for observing other lights. This because when first Eye was evolved, that creature used to live underwater.
Only visible lights are visible in water. If other lights are passed into water, they look like an opaque object. If our Earth orbited a Neutron Star and we would have evolved in such situations, then we would have been able to see ultraviolet and X Rays too.
For Earth source of Light is only one i.e. Sun


During the Nuclear Fission of Hydrogen and Helium inside the core of Sun, The Hydrogen Atom gets converted to Alpha Particles due to immense Pressure. This Alpha particles emits Gamma Rays.
This Gamma Rays try to escape from the core but collides with other gamma radiations. This takes them thousands of years to escape from sun.
Many if them loses their energy before coming out of Sun.

Therefore only visible light and Ultraviolet light reaches Earth. And as you know Ultraviolet rays are blocked by Ozone Layer.

Now, the colour of an object depends on the property of object. Which colour do it reflects and which colour it absorb.
For example, consider an Apple. It's colour is Red. It means it reflects red colour and absorbs all other colours.
During summers, we feel good to wear white Dresses. This is because white colour reflects all the colours. It absorbs no light and keeps us cool during summer.

The property of object to reflect and absorb light depends upon the arrangement of atoms. Consider, An Diamond and a Graphite. Though both are carbon components but it is due to the arrangement of carbon atoms, we see Diamond transparent and Graphite grey.
Same is true with ice and snow. Thought both are made from water, snow is white in colour and ice is transparent.
Wondering How complex is our World ?

Colour of an Atom

But, What is Colour of Light ?
Friends, what we can see is due to visible lights. And this light's wavelength is far way bigger than Atoms. Therefore for consideration of Atoms we can say that the light of Atom is none. Atom is colourless. Yes, Atoms possess no colour.
But our study is not finished yet.

Though atoms have no colour but when electricity is passed between atoms, Atoms get excited. They emit light. And this light is visible to us.
All the spectrums are different for different elements.

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