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Yellowness

Yellowness is illustrated by this icon for visual sensations that are yellowish or bluish.

Any sight that could be described as yellowish or bluish is called an inorganic chromatic visual sensation. We use words like yellow, blue, gold, cyan, indigo, brown, orange, violet, turquoise, chartreuse, azure, ocher, cerulean, sepia etc. to identify particular visual sensations within the inorganic category. Ewald Hering reports that, “no color is both yellowish and bluish … yellowness and blueness are mutually exclusive.”1Ewald Hering, Outlines of a Theory of the Light Sense, translated by Hurvich and Jameson, page 49.   Harvard University Press, 1964. Therefore inorganic visual sensations are susceptible of binary description. The reference experience for these sensations is seeing gold. So to make a binary description of an inorganic chromatic sensation, compare it to seeing gold. Report the result using one of the following algebraic statements. If the two experiences are not comparable, then say that the sensation is not an inorganic chromatic sensation and express this as \delta_{e}=0. If the sensation is like seeing gold, then say that it is yellow. Express this as \delta_{e}=+1. If the sensation is not like seeing gold, then say that it is blue and that \delta_{e}=-1. The number \delta_{e} is called the yellowness. These relations are expressed mathematically as

\delta_{e} \equiv \begin{cases} +1 &{\textrm{if a visual sensation is yellow }} \\ \; \; 0 &{\textrm{if a sensation is not inorganic }} \\ -1 &{\textrm{if a visual sensation is blue }} \end{cases}

Reference Constant for Yellowness

The numerical constant associated with the visual sensation of seeing gold is conventionally known as the vacuum electric permittivity. It is symbolized by \varepsilon _{\sf{o}} and has an observed value of \varepsilon _{ \textsf{o} } = 8.854 \ 187 \ 812 \ 8 \times 10^{-12} \left( \textrm{F} \cdot \textrm{m} ^{-1} \right) For more about how this number is used, please see discussion of the Bohr model for hydrogen.

1Ewald Hering, Outlines of a Theory of the Light Sense, translated by Hurvich and Jameson, page 49.   Harvard University Press, 1964.