benham1Charles Benhamho (1895) created a toy top painted with the pattern (images on next page). When you spin the disk, arcs of color (called “pattern induced flicker colors”) show up around the disk. And different people see different colors!

We can’t really say why this happens, but there are a few interesting theories. Your eyeball has two different ways of seeing light: cones and rods. Cones are used for color vision and for seeing bright light, and there are three types of cones (red, green, and blue). Rods are important for seeing in low light.

One possibility is… Please login or register to read the rest of this content.

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2 Responses to “Benham’s Disk”

  1. Probably need more SPEED! What happens if you “blur” your eyes (don’t try to focus so hard) and then look straight at the center of the disk?

  2. valerie_guenther says:

    HI, we printed out the disks on a black/white laser, assembled them on hard paper and spun them with a drill. We saw no colours except black, white and grey. Any suggestions – different printer