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The Enigma Of The Universe : Relativity of Colour to Gauge

Published: 14.12.2014
Updated: 13.01.2015

A. d''Abro speaks of change in colour with respect to gauge and concludes that nothing like "colour" exists in "microscopic world". His argument is as follows

"Suppose, then, that a green object is placed on the table. The metaphysician who states that colours are realities which would exist in a world devoid of percepients would presumably state that the object's surface was green in its very essence. But it might well happen that, on viewing the surface with a powerful microscope, we should find it to be made of a patch-work of blue and yellow spots and that all appearance of green had vanished. Unless the metaphysician proceeds to ignore the microscopic view entirely, he will be placed in the dilemma of wondering whether the green quality or the yellow-and-blue one is to be ascribed to the object in the real world. Even so, his troubles would not be at an end, for we might conceive of an ultra-microscopic vision compared with which our erstwhile microscopic vision would be macroscopic and so on indefinitely. Now the change in colour that accompanies a passage from the macroscopic to the microscopic suggests that changes of equal importance might ensue from each successive passage to the following microscopic view. Indeed, it might be that for organisms whose size was of the order of wave-lengths no colour would manifest itself at all. Inasmuch as it would be highly arbitrary to assert that the ultra-microscopic vision is in any wise less worthy of consideration than the more usual microscopic vision, it appears to be impossible to ascribe definite colours to existents in a world devoid of all observers........"

The upshot of this discussion is that when the metaphysician speaks of red as inhering in the flower of a geranium, he is making a statement that cannot withstand scientific criticism."[1]

Here, A. d''Abro has confused objective colour with perceived colour. It should be noted that "green" colour of the object viewed without microscope is only the perceived colour, which, as we have seen, is not necessarily the same as the objective colour. For, the perceived colour (Cp) is a function of the objective colour (C0), light and also the sensory equipment (S). The change in "gauge" may produce a corresponding change in S (the function representing sensory equipment), and consequently the perceived colour (Cp) may also undergo a change. Thus, if on viewing the green surface with a powerful microscope it looks yellow and blue, it is quite consistent. Also, as assumed by A. d''Abro with a further passage to ultramicroscopic vision, changes in colour might ensue; but this change would be only in the "perceived colour", and not in the "objective colour."

Again, it is also possibly true that for organisms whose size was of the order of the wave-lengths of light, no colour might manifest itself at all. But this would happen only because light is the only means for perceiving colour through optical equipment (eyes).

Inability of micro-organisms to perceive colour is only subjective one. Hence it would be wrong to conclude that no colour exists in a world devoid of all observors. Truly speaking it is the "chromatic sensation" which does not exist in the world devoid of all observors.


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Title: The Enigma Of The Universe Publisher: JVB University Ladnun English Edition: 2010 HN4U Online Edition: 2014

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