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…use of “major” was coined by William Rainey Harper…

How he thought we did it
I took scissors and completely separated the orange rings from the two printed discs (“More Than Meets the Eye,” June/04). Removed from the patterned backgrounds, the two rings remained different in color—they were not printed in the same shade of orange ink, and “chromatic induction” had nothing to do with their perceived difference—contrary to what was stated in the article. The illusion, in this case, would have been to believe what I read without trying to verify its accuracy.

Philip Lehpamer, SB’63
Brooklyn, New York

After receiving Lehpamer’s letter, the Magazine staff took an office copy, cut out the rings, and looked at the dot pattern under 5x magnification. The colors were identical. However, because the two circles were on different pages, printed in different forms or press signatures, it is possible that some copies have a color difference. When we sent Lehpamer a second copy, he again took scissors in hand, this time finding that “the two rings were identical in color. Moreover, the effect of the adjacent rings on the orange shading is noticeable even if only a small fringe of the green and purple rings is retained. That is, if you remove the orange rings but leave only a slight border, merely a touch of the other colors, the shades of orange look different to the eye. It was actually more dramatic to cut away all the adjacent rings and to observe the effect this way.”—Ed.

The University of Chicago Magazine welcomes letters. Letters for publication must be signed and may be edited for space and clarity.

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