White is an achromatic color that contrasts with the color black. It is built through the photoreception of intense light constituted by the visible frequency of the light wave. White objects scatter the light that hits them. (like a bounce effect), which makes them work like a panel. Today we talk to you about the meaning of the color white and show you some of its curiosities.
In Spanish, the term white comes from Vulgar Latin. whitewhich in turn derives from the Germanic emptyand this from Proto-Germanic blangkaz. In these languages it referred to something dazzling or glittering.. The original root is found in Proto-Indo-European bhel. We show you everything you should know about this color.
Characteristics of the white color
White is a color we often appreciate in nature. Snow, clouds, limestone and white quartz are just some of the places where we can find it. The color is capable of refracting more than 99.9% of the wavelength, so it is a hue-free tone. That is, it does not absorb light, but scatters it.
The best example of the above is found in the ice sheets in the Arctic. These are capable of reflecting up to 80% of the sun’s rays back into space. Clouds do it around 70%. To give you an idea, the blue of the oceans reflects only 5% on average. This property is known scientifically like albedo. We leave you with other curiosities about the white color:
- Clouds are white because their water and ice crystals refract light.
- White chalk is a type of limestone that originated with the millennial deposit of microorganisms known as coccolithophores.
- Whitening of garments is achieved because the products attack the chromophores, a section of the molecule that absorbs light. The formula works by breaking the bonds that make them up.
- In the wild, many animals shed their fur during the winter for camouflage. Some species of rabbits and foxes do this (among others).
- In much of the world, women wear white to their wedding as a sign of purity and innocence.
- It is a dominant color in many flags: USA, Netherlands, Ireland, South Korea, Japan and others.
- The white flag is the international symbol of surrender or truce.
- The term white lie It is used to allude to an innocent lie, often expressed as a courtesy.
- Since ancient times temples and churches have been white. Also government buildings and other places associated with the nation. This is a tradition that is preserved today..
- In most countries white is the color of peace (usually represented in the form of a white dove).
- Since the 4th century BC the bright white unicorn has been symbolized (today it is the national animal of Scotland).
- Since it is associated with cleaning (we will see it in detail later) it is used in products or fillers related to hygiene: detergents, gowns, hospitals and others.
- It was a color traditionally associated with the monarchy.
As you can see, white is an essential color in how humans relate to their environment. Their relationship is more explicit when we approach color from the postulates of psychology.
Meaning of the color white in psychology
some experts they found that white facilitated information retrieval and acquisition. Education AND research have realized the positive effects of white light on people. Improve your mood, facilitate your concentration, regulate your circadian rhythm and improve your vision.
The meaning of the color white can vary according to age and context. For example, a study Posted in Journal of Pediatric Nursing in 2013 found that children feel more fearful when nurses wear white uniforms. Their stress levels go down when they wear blue, pink or purple uniforms. oranges.
researchers They pointed out that people tend to establish a direct relationship between morality with the color white and immorality with the color black. This has multiple real-life implications (how a politician, company, product, or cause is rated by the color they wear). Let’s see other examples of the meaning of the color white:
- When the color white is used excessively, it conveys a feeling of loneliness or coldness (think of a room painted entirely in white).
- People value white places as safer, more formal and cleaner.
- Some people can become obsessed with whiteness. For example, those suffering from whiterexia.
- Because white can calm things down, it is often used in conflict resolution.
The fact that it is an achromatic color does not imply that its influence on people is less. Keep in mind that not everyone responds with the same reactions, so what is exposed is subject to nuance.
Meaning of the color white in different cultures
In order for you to become an expert on the meaning of the color white today, we leave you with some curiosities from a cultural point of view. These complement what has already been laid out about color:
- Along with red and black, it was one of the most used colors in pictorial representations of early man.
- In ancient times it was customary to sacrifice white animals (such as lambs) to atone for sins.
- The Egyptians associated color with the goddess Isis (her priests wore only white).
- The Greeks associated the color of mother’s milk. There are dozens of Greek myths in which milk is a capital substance. The name of our galaxy, the Milky Way, was created by one of them.
- Historically people with albinism (a disease in which there is no melanin production) have been rejected by most societies. This behavior is also common in animals.
- Until the 16th century, the widows of the kings of France wore white as a sign of mourning.
- Pilgrims traveling to Mecca often do so in white (the Grand Mosque in Mecca is predominantly white).
- The popes of the Catholic Church have worn white since 1556.
- The practice of burying the dead wrapped in a white shroud is thought to have motivated the association of color with ghosts.
- In China, Korea and other Asian countries, a specific shade of white is used as a symbol of mourning.
- Ku Klux Klan members usually wear white robes and hoods.
With this last appreciation we conclude our multiple meanings of the color white. Surely now you have a different idea regarding this color. Use it taking into account everything you learned in the previous lines.
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