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.
When we observe Red Iron Oxide, we see only the reflection of Red. We can’t see deep into the heart of the atom. If we could see its heart, I think it would be the color of warm umber because that is the color that is brought to the surface when it is fired to 1260 degrees.
Red is therefore not itself at all.
I contemplated Red, that passionate man whose blood pumps red in his veins, who would do anything for you, even engage in toxic toil for you, wear a mask and loose his soul for you until he sits up in his leaves and says ‘This is not who I am’
- Tyson N.D, Goldsmith D, 2014, Origins, fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution. 1st ed.