Physics Question #3771
Ed, a 45 year old male from Kyiv asks on January 10, 2007,
Against the black plastic on my TV, dust looks white; when I wipe it off with a white tissue, dust looks black. Why?
viewed 16235 times
answered on January 10, 2007
This is an example of what's known as simultaneous contrast. It happens both in cases like yours where you have light dust against dark black plastic versus 'dark' dust against white tissue. It also occurs in colour where you have one colour against another. You can find lots of nice examples and discussion of simultaneous contrast phenomena on the web. Here are a few sites you might find of interest.
Add to or comment on this answer using the form below.
Note: All submissions are moderated prior to posting.
If you found this answer useful, please consider making a small donation to science.ca.