Learning About Color Blindness

MARTY SAGENDORFby: Marty Sagendorf

What is that Color ?

Easy… if you’re not colorblind…

…But if you are…

You will not see the same color that other people do.

We can easily simulate this with:

Some colored paper and special glasses.

Making-Up a Collection of Colors

– Use a piece of 8-1/2 x 11 inch white paper

– Cut out eight 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 inch squares of various colored paper

– Glue the squares (using any appropriate adhesive)

about color blindness



Making-Up a Pair of Red Glasses:

What's it like to be colorblind?We’ll need two pairs of 3-D Glasses to make one pair of Red Glasses

– Using a hobby knife, remove just the blue lens from one pair of 3-D Glasses

– With scissors, cut out the red lens from the other pair of 3-D Glasses

– Use tape (at top and bottom edges) to attach the red lens over the opening from where the blue lens was removed

about color blindness


Using the Red Glasses:

– Don’t let the subject see the sheet of color squares beforehand

– Have the subject put on the Red Glasses

– Give the sheet to the subject

– Ask the subject to name all the colors seen

This is what will be seen:

What Colors do you see?Now have the subject remove the glasses.

This is what will be seen:

What colors do you see?

For Additional Viewing…

Making Blue Glasses:

– This time add the blue lens you removed from the first pair of 3-D Glasses

– Add it to the opening on the second pair of 3-D Glasses

– Tape the blue lens onto the glasses


The same sheet seen through the BLUE Glasses

What colors do you see?


What we’ve illustrated are:

Simulations of colorblindness – not the ‘actuals’ since colorblindness takes many forms that result in multitudes of different visual interpretations of colors.

On the Internet:

– Do a search for ‘color blind’

– Images such as this are illustrated:

Without Red Glasses

Colorblind test

People with normal color vision should see the number 6 in the circle

With Red Glasses

What's it like to be colorblind?


For Further Exploration:

Do library and Internet research on:

– Primary colors

– Secondary colors

– Mixing pigment colors

– Mixing light colors


bk460Marty Sagendorf is a retired physicist and teacher; he is a firm believer in the value of hands-on experiences when learning physics.  He authored the book Physics Demonstration Apparatus.  This amazing book is available from Educational Innovations – it includes ideas and construction details for the creation and use of a wide spectrum of awe-inspiring physics demonstrations and laboratory equipment.  Included are 49 detailed sections describing hands-on apparatus illustrating mechanical, electrical, acoustical, thermal, optical, gravitational, and magnetic topics.  This book also includes sections on tips and hints, materials sources, and reproducible labels.

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