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Benham's Top - an interactive demonstration

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Benham's top is one of many classic examples of subjective colors.  One should be able to see faint colors in the positions of the arcs of the black-and-white spinning circular disk.The saturation of the perceived colors can be adjusted by changing the spinning speed with the slider control. Different sections of the arcs produce different colors.  When the disk spins clockwise, the perceived colors change from yellowish for the inner arcs to bluish for the outer arcs.  This order of the perceived colors reverses if the disk spins counterclockwise.

Touching the disk stops the spinning.

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The following is sequential color change based on on Josef K Nagler's 1956 US Patent (METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING COLOR):

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The above groups of stripes correspond to the inner, middle and outer sections of the arcs of Benham's Top respectively. You can cover any groups, the remaining subjective colors persist. You can use the speed control slider to slow down the frame rate to see the image sequences that produce the subjective colors. You can also use the slider to reverse the sequence and watch the subjective color pattern reversing accordingly.

 Java versions of this demo


Benham's Top for Android

(Originally Developed in November 1999)