[Physics] What gives things color?


I know that color comes from things not absorbing a certain wavelength of light, but what property gives something color? Like what property of copper atoms makes copper as a whole brown, or cobalt blue? Is there a solid states physics explanation for where color arises from microscopically in different materials?

Best Answer

Every Element/atom has a different electron configuration. This gives the valence electrons unique energy levels and arrangements. When electrons absorb energy they are excited to certain and again unique energy levels. When The energy is released it gives a photon a certain frequency which we perceive as a certain color.

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