Color in Stars and Chemicals
Color measures forces, and to a great extent
qualities, in every department of the universe.
Thus red is the color of warmth not only as seen in
coals of fire, in red sunlight, in capsicum and the like,
but in emotions of love and passional energy, as is apparent
to persons whose interior vision is opened.
Blue on the other hand measures coolness and
electricity as in the blue rays of light, blue venous blood,
the blue element of acids.
To the clairvoyant the cool reasoning front brain
appears blue, the back brain and lower brain red.
Such facts prove the absolute unity that rules
everywhere, both in matter and mind.
By aid of the atomic theory we may know absolutely
that such minute particles as atoms have an existence and
constitute the basis of the universe, as demonstrated by the
law of color. Thus
we know that hydrogen and the alkaline metals, as well as
the white metals generally, are thermal, and hence their
atoms being widened out by heat, will naturally encase and
hide electrical atoms, which are made narrow by cold.
To chemists it has been the mystery of ages that when
two atoms combine, the color force of one of them is apt to
be entirely obliterated.
If now we shall find that the colors of electrical
atoms are generally obliterated by contact with thermal
ones, and not those of the thermal atoms by contact with
electrical ones, our position will be proved.
By 1964 the ground states of 96 different atoms had
been uniquely determined from their spectral structure, and
such knowledge is highly preferable in spectroscopy, atomic
physics and chemistry.
Color is produced commercially by the use of
inorganic chemical substances having some color-producing
metal, or by the use of organic coal-tar products.
The derivatives of a substance may be made by
modifying the molecular constitution. Any
desired color can be obtained by altering the structural
formula so as to throw the absorption into the region of the
visible spectrum desired.
Here are a few leading combinations of thermal and
electrical atoms indicating their colors, as charted by
(Chloride of Lime, CaCl2) has a white color like
the thermal calcium, not yellow-green like Chlorine.
(MgCl2) white, like magnesium.
(KC1), white, like the thermal substance potassium.
(silver and chlorine, AgCl) white, like silver.
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or corrosive sublimate, (HgCl2), white, like
or Calomel (Hg2Cl2), white
(SbCl3), white, like the antimony itself.
(HCl), transparent like the hydrogen.
(HI), transparent like the hydrogen, although the iodine is
a blue black.
(HB), transparent like hydrogen, not red like bromine.
(MnCl2), reddish like the manganese.
or oxygen and gold, the symbols of which are sometimes
written AuO, but as the yellow of gold combines with the
blue of oxygen here and makes a green, it may be presumed
that they combine by 2’s thus Au202.
(K2S2), orange colored, seems to
combine the red potency of potassium with the yellow of
(CO2K2), white like the potassium.
The oxygen seems to have driven the black substance
carbon into the potassium.
The same principles rule in Sodium Carbonate (CO3Na2),
the white sodium atom alone showing, and in Sodium Chloride
Various other compounds could be given, but this will
be sufficient to establish the principle, that the colors of
chemical solutions have a definite relation to their
Following is a list of the materials of colors so far
as contributed by 20 important elements, including 16 metals
which the spectroscope has discovered in the sun’s
atmosphere and the 4 metalloids; oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen
and carbon which have so much to do with light.
These metals are: sodium, calcium, barium, magnesium,
iron, chromium, nickel, copper, zinc, strontium, cadmium,
cobalt, manganese, aluminum, titanium, rubidium.
Materials of red light: nitrogen, oxygen,
barium, zinc, strontium, cadmium, rubidium.
Materials of red-orange light: Hydrogen,
oxygen, nitrogen, calcium, barium, iron, copper, strontium,
color would pass for red and constitutes a fine grade of it.
Materials of orange light: Oxygen, calcium,
iron, nickel, zinc, cobalt, rubidium, aluminum, titanium.
Materials of yellow-orange light: Carbon,
nitrogen, sodium, nickel, zinc, cobalt, manganese, titanium.
This would often pass for yellow with those who are
Materials of yellow light: Carbon, nitrogen,
oxygen, calcium, barium, iron, chromium, nickel, copper,
zinc, strontium, cobalt, manganese, aluminum, titanium.
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Materials of yellow-green light: Carbon,
nitrogen, oxygen, sodium, calcium, barium, magnesium,
chromium, nickel, copper, strontium, cadmium, cobalt,
rubidium, aluminum, titanium.
Materials of blue-green light: Carbon,
nitrogen, hydrogen, sodium, iron, nickel, copper, zinc,
cobalt, manganese, titanium.
Materials of blue light: Oxygen, nitrogen,
barium, magnesium, chromium, nickel, copper, zinc,
strontium, cadmium, cobalt, manganese, aluminum, titanium.
Materials of indigo-blue light: Oxygen,
nitrogen, iron, calcium, manganese, titanium.
Materials of indigo light: Oxygen, hydrogen,
carbon, iron, chromium, copper, strontium, titanium.
Materials of violet-indigo light: Oxygen,
nitrogen, carbon, iron, calcium, cobalt, rubidium,
Materials of violet light: Nitrogen, oxygen,
barium, iron, strontium, manganese.
Materials of dark violet light: Hydrogen,
All continuous spectra look very much alike.
The only difference is that some colors may be
brighter than others, depending on how hot the source is.
If you heat a piece of metal until it begins to glow,
it will look dull red, like the wires in an electric
spectrum of the light from the metal will be brighter only
in the red part. As
the metal gets hotter, it will look yellowish, like the wire
in an electric heater. Then
the yellow part of the spectrum will be strong, too.
And when the metal gets very hot, it will look white,
like the wire in a lamp bulb.
As a material gets hotter, the brightest part of its
spectrum moves steadily from the red toward the violet.
When it gets hot enough, several colors will be
strong enough to make the mixture look white.
Scientists can tell exactly how hot a furnace is by
finding the brightest part of its spectrum.
They also judge the temperature of the sun or distant
stars in this way. The
sun’s spectrum is strongest in the yellow part, at a wave
length of about 20 millionths of an inch.
Using a spectroscope, the experimenters put different
material into a hot flame, one at a time.
In each test, the spectroscope showed a different set
of sharp, bright colored lines, called spectrum lines, with
dark spaces between them.
This meant that the flame was sending out only a few
definite wave lengths of light instead of the endless number
that make up white light.
These experiments proved that each kind of material
gives its own special pattern of spectrum lines.
No two materials have exactly the same set of lines,
just as no two people have exactly the same fingerprints.
When chemists want to find out what something is made
of, they must do many hours of testing with chemicals.
But, with a spectroscope, it is only necessary to
make the material
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give off light and then look at
the lines in the spectrum.
This can sometimes be done in just a few minutes.
Besides, the spectrum method can detect very tiny
amounts of a material that are too small to show up in any
other way. Sometimes
as little as a few billionths of an ounce is enough to give
To form a line spectrum, a material must first be
changed to a vapor or a gas, and this is what happens when
it is put into a flame.
The heat makes the molecules scatter so they do not
disturb each other when they send out their light.
Then the lines of the spectrum are clearly separated.
But in liquids or solids, the molecules are packed
tightly together, and they hinder each other.
Then the lines smear out to give a continuous
spectrum that does not tell anything about the make-up of
A star – and our sun is one of them – is a
self-luminous object, which shines by radiation derived from
energy sources within itself.
By contrast, planets shine by reflected light only,
while gaseous and diffuse nebulae may shine either by
reflected light, or by fluorescence.
The distance of stars from the earth is measured in
terms of light years, a unit of interstellar space
measurement equal to the distance traversed by light in one
year – that is, approximately six trillion miles.
The universe contains billions of stars, of which
only about 6000 are visible to the naked eye.
These stars are not identical, but vary in many
respects as to brightness, color, age, size, temperature and
In fact, there is found evidence of a reasonably
uniform distribution of chemical elements throughout the
same familiar substances, hydrogen, iron, calcium, etc. are
in the sun and stars that we are familiar with on earth.
This indicates that the atomic building blocks of the
universe are the same throughout space, but the proportions
Probably the largest amount of information that is
attainable for any star is obtained from its spectrum.
From this can be determined some idea of the
brightness and property of distant stars.
Even with the naked eye one can observe certain
differences in color: While most stars appear blue-white,
Betelgeuse in Orion, for example, is deep red, and Albireo
in Cygnus consists of two stars – one blue, and the other
The spectrum of a star indicates its probable
temperature and information as to chemical composition.
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There are 10 general classifications or spectral
types of stars, with subdivisions among each:
Most prominent spectral lines
hydrogen; ionized helium, ionized oxygen; ionized
hydrogen, ionized calcium
hydrogen, ionized calcium, metals
ionized calcium, metals, cyanogen
titanium oxide, vanadium oxide
carbon, carbon compounds
zirconium oxide, lanthanum oxide
carbon, carbon compounds