Do molecules have colours? What about electrons, protons and neutrons?
Asked by: Peter
Electrons, protons and neutrons do not have a 'color' as we normally understand the term.
Something has a color when light strikes it and it absorbs all but one wavelenth (say,
blue) and thus the object is perceived as being blue. (This is a simplified explanation
but in essence that's it.)
A light wave (in the visible part of the spectrum) has too long of a wavelength to reflect
off one of these particles, so not only can we not see them, but they don't exhibit a
color. (We can't even see them thru a microscope because they simply don't reflect light.
That's why we need electron microscopes to see very small things--and even these can't
see subatomic particles)
As for molecules: it depends on how big the molecule is. If it's a salt molecule, NaCl,
that's probably too small to reflect light. But if it's DNA or a polymer, then probably
it will exhibit a color, assuming you have a powerful enough optical microscope..
Answered by: Marcelo Lima, B.S.
'Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.'