This year I wanted to get my conceptual physics students more actively involved in their study of color addition and subtraction, so I decided to develop an interactive color quiz that I could use throughout the unit. I use the electron oscillator model to explain the emission, reflection, and absorption of light at the atomic level. My quiz is an extension of an activity I read about in The Physics Teacher on an “Interactive Spectra Demonstration.”1 It requires only some spray-painted tennis balls (red, green, and blue) and whatever color of clothing the students wear to class.

Bruce C.
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Interactive spectra demonstration
Phys. Teach.
Paul G. Hewitt, Conceptual Physics, 3rd ed. (Addison-Wesley, Menlo Park, CA, 1999), pp. 426–431.
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