Why does the tip of my cigarette look greenish in a red ambient light?

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Offline AlbizgiL

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It's orange in white light. With more red light from the ambient light, shouldn't it look more red instead of less red? Would this have more to do with perception than physics?


Offline chiralSPO

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Yes, this is largely an issue of perception. Our eyes and brains interpret color by comparing to nearby colors. Making everything in your field of vision more red is the same as making the red things less red.

Ever notice how a collection of TV screens all showing the same show look different? (like on an airplane or in a shop window) One of the TVs looks all green compared to the others, and one is brighter, and one is redder, and one has a weird orange tint... But if you take any one of those screens, and watch it by itself, you would never notice that it was an odd color unless it was way, way off!