Ever wonder why school buses are yellow? Do you know when green means bad luck? Or why indigo is considered a different color than blue? NPR’s Look at This series answers these questions—and more—in a new project that pays homage to MIT physics professor Arthur C. Hardy.

Hardy is perhaps best known for his study of optics and developing some of the earliest recording spectrophotometers and color analyzers. In his 1950s educational film, “This is Color: The Study of Light“, Hardy explained the basic properties of light and how its behavior creates color.

Using music and animations from Hardy’s film, NPR producers Nicole Cohen and Beth Novey produced “A Weird Little Lesson, in Rainbow Order.” The duo has compiled an impressive list of surprising facts about each hue and created an interactive website as part of this series.

Take a look through NPR’s color facts.

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One comment

  1. Jerome M Weingart

    I and Samuel J. Williamson were physics undergraduates, class of 1961. We collaborated on our undergraduate physics thesis under the guidance of Prof. Hardy and MIT physicist Dr. Lee C. Bradley III. There was sadness in Prof. Hardy’s later years, but I am happy to report that in his final year he experienced great love, joy, and peace.

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