Physicists say that the universe can be traced back to a beginning and each of our bodies to high mass stars. We are not simply in the universe, we are part of it, born from its dust. 1] Perhaps it is therefore not so strange to look for the symmetry between a photon of red light landing on an atom and that passionate man called Red.
When a stream of light falls on a metal atom, like iron, some light is absorbed into the electromagnetic field of the metal atom to energize electrons to higher orbital states, but some of the light is not needed and is reflected away from the atom. It is this reflection of light that we see as colour.
In the case of Red Iron Oxide, we literally see a reflection of Red because we can’t see deep into the bosom of the atom which must be real Red. Knowing that Red FeO turns Umber when fired to 1260 degrees, it must be that true Red is really Umber.
This deception of colour where Red is not itself reminds me of us. Made from star dust, iron pumps red hot blood through our veins, while we sing – I have so much life running through my veins going to waste!
Red will do anything for you, he’ll even engage in toxic toil for you, wear a mask and loose his soul for you. Until that one day when he sits up in his leaves, knowing that he can’t take it anymore and cries ‘Lord, this is not who I am!’
- Tyson N.D, Goldsmith D, 2014, Origins, fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution. 1st ed.