Two scientific curiosities about “The Dark Side of the Moon”

Light is the essential element of vision, and its properties are the basis of many devices that preceded the birth of cinema. However, in this article, I will go on a different route. I tell you about two scientific curiosities concerning a musical album: The Dark Side of The Moon by Pink Floyd.

A little bit of physics

When mixed in the right proportions, a set of rays of different colors creates the white light we all see. Each color represents a ray with a different wavelength. When white light – passes through one or more drops of water like those that make up a rain cloud (or an optical prism) – it undergoes a double deflection. The rays are deflected precisely according to their different wavelength. Therefore, to the external observers of this phenomenon, the rays appear separate and of SEVEN different colors (i.e, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and indigo). 

The two scientific curiosities

On Pink Floyd’s fantastic concept album “The Dark Side of The Moon,” beautifully designed in 1973 – by Sir Aubrey “Po” Powell((Aubrey Powell saw the image of the prism in a physics book for the first time. This book depicted Isaac Newton’s optical experiments involving the reflection and refraction of light rays. Experiments were then collected in the work “Optiks,” published in 1704.)), there are two curiosities: 

The first is the colored rays that “come out” from the optical prism are not seven but only SIX (i.e., the indigo is missing). This difference is because the album itself tells us about imperfection. The concept of imperfection enters our lives in the guise of mental illness1 or death2 and radically upsets us.

This concept-album is about everything that destabilizes, terrifies, or frightens a life. Therefore, as the closing song “ECLIPSE” says, although the world under the sun is in harmony and perfect (“everything under the sun is in tune“), the sun itself is, however, obscured by the moon (“but the sun is eclipsed by the moon“), so everything becomes imperfect, life itself is subject to “dark forces” and cannot be controlled. The only six light rays from the optical prism symbolically show this imperfection.

The seven primary colors are seven: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and indigo.

– This monumental album of rock music is linked in some way to medicine. An English rock band just the previous year recorded an album with the same name (Dark Side of The Moon). What were they called? They were MEDICINE HEAD… and the link with medical science, in this case, is only semantic. By the way, what does “medicine head” mean? Well, the term indicates a state of poor clarity, confusion, or clouding given by the use of antihistamines or cough syrups, which both affect the central nervous system. 

  1. see song titled “Brain Damage/Eclipse []
  2. see song titled “The Great Gig In The Sky []


3 pensieri su “Two scientific curiosities about “The Dark Side of the Moon”

  1. This is a topic thаt’s near to my hеart… Best wishes!
    Exаctly where are your contact details though?

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