The Science of Color book cover

The Science of Color

The Science of Color focuses on the foundations of modern color science. Written for a broad scientific audience, the book reviews principles and facts with enduring value for understanding the interdisciplinary field of color, drawing from physics, physiology and psychology. The level and breadth of coverage are appropriate for anyone with a scientific background and an interest in color, including computer scientists, engineers, neuroscientists, physicians, physicists, physiologists and psychologists.

Each chapter begins with a detailed outline that summarizes the organization and breadth of its material. The outlines are valuable guides to chapter structure, and useful navigation tools for finding material at the reader's preferred level of depth.

The legendary original edition of The Science of Color was written by a committee of 23, and published by the Optical Society of America (OSA) in 1953. It was sold for more than 40 years after eight printings. This second edition is completely new, and written by a smaller group of distinguished experts. Among the 11 authors are eight OSA fellows, five past or present chairs of the OSA Color Technical Group, and the two most recent editors for color at the Journal of the Optical Society of America A. The topics in every chapter are covered by recognized authorities.


Published: July 2003

Imprint: Elsevier

ISBN: 978-0-444-51251-2


  • ...well organized with good illustrations, clear graphic presentations of technical material, and helpful chapter summaries. ...Recommended. Graduate students through professionals.
    R.M. Davis, Choice, 2004

    ...The book provides a good tutorial to study a broad range of the foundations of colour science.
    K. Amano, Coloration Technology, 2004


  • Preface. Dedication. Contributors. 1. The origins of modern color science (J. Mollon). 2. Light, the retinal image, and photoreceptors (O. Packer, D.R. Williams). 3. Color matching and color discrimination (V.C. Smith, J. Pokorny). 4. Color appearance (S.K. Shevell). 5. Color appearance and color difference specification (D.H. Brainard). 6. The physiology of color vision (P. Lennie). 7. The physics and chemistry of color: The fifteen mechanisms (K. Nassau). 8. Digital color reproduction (B. Wandell, L.D. Silverstein). Index.


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