Complementary Colors

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complementary colors

[‚käm·plə′men·trē ′kəl·ərz]
Two colors which lie on opposite sides of the white point in the chromaticity diagram so that an additive mixture of the two, in appropriate proportions, can be made to yield an achromatic mixture.

Complementary colors

Those pairs of colors, such as red and green, that together embrace the entire spectrum. The complement of one of the three primary colors is a mixture of the other two.

Complementary Colors


two colors that form a color that is seen by the eye as white when the radiations of which they are composed are mixed (combined). The radiations composing the complementary colors may have components that are very different, ranging from the monochromatic to radiations with a continuous spectrum.

To obtain two beams of light with a continuous spectrum that meet the requirements of complementary colors, it is sufficient to pass a beam of white light (for instance, sunlight) through a nonabsorbent, color-selective mirror that strongly reflects one part of the spectrum (for example, the blue) and transmits the other part of the spectrum which will have a color complementary to the first color. (For example, blue will be complemented by yellow.)


Gurevich, M. M. Tsvet i ego izmerenie. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
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