Color for the Sciences

Color for the Sciences

By Jan J. Koenderink

A comprehensive introduction to colorimetry from a conceptual perspective.





A comprehensive introduction to colorimetry from a conceptual perspective.

Color for the Sciences is the first book on colorimetry to offer an account that emphasizes conceptual and formal issues rather than applications. Jan Koenderink's introductory text treats colorimetry—literally, “color measurement”—as a science, freeing the topic from the usual fixation on conventional praxis and how to get the “right” result. Readers of Color for the Sciences will learn to rethink concepts from the roots in order to reach a broader, conceptual understanding.

After a brief account of the history of the discipline (beginning with Isaac Newton) and a chapter titled “Colorimetry for Dummies,” the heart of the book covers the main topics in colorimetry, including the space of beams, achromatic beams, edge colors, optimum colors, color atlases, and spectra. Other chapters cover more specialized topics, including implementations, metrics pioneered by Schrödinger and Helmholtz, and extended color space.

Color for the Sciences can be used as a reference for professionals or in a formal introductory course on colorimetry. It will be especially useful both for those working with color in a scientific or engineering context who find the standard texts lacking and for professionals and students in image engineering, computer graphics, and computer science. Each chapter ends with exercises, many of which are open-ended, suggesting ways to explore the topic further, and can be developed into research projects. The text and notes contain numerous suggestions for demonstration experiments and individual explorations. The book is self-contained, with formal methods explained in appendixes when necessary.


$80.00 X ISBN: 9780262014281 760 pp. | 8 in x 9 in 916 color illus., 3 tables


  • Color for the Sciences is a work of superb scholarship and stunning originality. It belongs on the shelf of any serious student of color science.

    Edward H. Adelson

    John and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Vision Science, MIT

  • Color for the Sciences is an imaginative and thorough exploration of color science: suitable as an introduction for students, yet packed with insights and technical details that will engage the expert as well. The history, mathematics, experimental techniques, practical applications, and even philosophical implications of color science are woven together in an informal style that makes the book a pleasure to read and an invaluable resource not just to academics, but also to those in the corporate world who need to know color science for marketing and product design.

    Donald Hoffman

    University of California, Irvine