Indigo

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Indigo (spectral approximation) (#6F00FF)

Indigo (web color) (#4B0082)

Indigo is the color on the electromagnetic spectrum between about 420 and 450 nm in wavelength, placing it between blue and violet. Although traditionally considered one of seven divisions of the optical spectrum, modern color scientists do not usually recognize indigo as a separate division and generally classify wavelengths shorter than about 450 nm as violet.[2] Optical scientists Hardy and Perrin list indigo as between 446 and 464 nm wavelength.[3]

The first recorded use of indigo as a color name in English was in 1289.[4]

Contents

Etymology

India is believed to be the oldest center of indigo dyeing in the Old World. It was a primary supplier of indigo dye to Europe as early as the Greco-Roman era. The association of India with indigo is reflected in the Greek word for the 'dye,' which was indikon (ινδικόν). The Romans used the term indicum, which passed into Italian dialect and eventually into English as the word indigo.

Classification as a spectral color

Indigo was defined as a spectral color by Sir Isaac Newton when he divided up the optical spectrum, which has a continuum of wavelengths. He specifically named seven colors primarily to match the seven notes of a western major scale,[5] because he believed sound and light were physically similar, but also to link colors with the (known) planets, days of the week,[citation needed] and other lists that had seven items.

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