Mixing Pixels

See pixels turn on and off to create colour.

How to Use It

Slide coloured spots under the magnifying glasses to see the pixels up close. Use your phone or tablet screen with the microscope to see the pixels up close.

What Science Tells Us

Human eyes typically have three types of colour receptor: ones most sensitive to long wavelengths (red light); ones most sensitive to medium wavelengths (green light); and ones most sensitive to short wavelengths (blue light).

Additive colour mixing simply adds a little of each colour—red, green or blue—to stimulate each receptor type in just the right way to create a certain mix.

Things to Try or Ask

Do screens from different manufacturers use the same colours and arrangements of pixels?

Finding the Science in Your World

All colour screens that emit light mix colour additively: they start with black, then add measured amounts of red, green and blue light to achieve a desired mix.