OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 43, Iss. 6 — Jun. 1, 1953
  • pp: 533–538

Dependence of Color-Mixture Functions on Choice of Primaries

D. L. MACADAM  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 43, Issue 6, pp. 533-538 (1953)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (668 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The shape of the color-mixture curve for any primary is completely determined by the choice of the line in the chromaticity diagram representing the additive mixture of the other two primaries. Formulas for the linear combinations necessary to transform one set of color-mixture curves to another are given in terms of the slopes and axis-intercepts of the lines joining the new primaries, represented in the chromaticity diagram based on the original color-mixture functions.

Orthogonal color-mixture functions are defined and an example is given, in which one of the color-mixture functions is proportional to the luminosity function. Formulas for deriving all other orthogonal sets of colormixture functions are given. The importance of the concept of orthogonality in the analysis of the propagation of errors in spectrophotometric colorimetry is discussed.

D. L. MACADAM, "Dependence of Color-Mixture Functions on Choice of Primaries," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 43, 533-538 (1953)

Sort:  Author  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. H. E. Ives, J. Franklin Inst. 180, 673–701 (1915); 195, 23–44 (1923).
  2. J. Guild, Trans. Opt. Soc. (London) 26, 95–108, 139–174 (1924–1925).
  3. D. B. Judd, Bur. Standards J. Research 4, 543–544 (1930).
  4. E. Schrödinger, Ann. Physik (4) 63, 397–456 (1920).
  5. D. L. MacAdam, J. Opt. Soc. Amer. 31, 456T (1941).
  6. D. L. MacAdam, J. Franklin Inst. 238, 195–210 (1944).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited