Abstract

Diffraction of light at the spatial cellular phase grating outer nuclear layer of the retina could produce Fresnel near-field interferences in three RGB diffraction orders accessible to photoreceptors (cones/rods). At perpendicular light incidence the wavelengths of the RGB diffraction orders in photopic vision—a fundamental R-wave with two G+B-harmonics—correspond to the peak wavelengths of the spectral brightness sensitivity curves of the cones at 559 nmR, 537 nmG, and 447 nmB. In scotopic vision the R+G diffraction orders optically fuse at 512 nm, the peak value of the rod’s spectral brightness sensitivity curve. The diffractive-optical transmission system with sender (resonator), space waves, and receiver antennae converts the spectral light components involved in imaging into RGB space. The colors seen at objects are diffractive-optical products in the eye, as the German philosopher A. Schopenhauer predicted. They are second related to the overall illumination in object space. The RGB transmission system is the missing link optically managing the spectral tuning of the RGB photopigments.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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