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How to Remember the Rainbow and Order of the Visible Light and Color Spectrum - roygbiv

Updated on March 8, 2017
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This author has written several other educational articles, wide range of topics. See profile for list.

The list and order of the rainbow and visible light, color spectrum.
The list and order of the rainbow and visible light, color spectrum. | Source

An Introduction to Mr. Roy G. Biv

His name is Roy G. Biv.

Note the first letter of each color in the visible light color spectrum map above. If you can remember the name, Roy G. Biv, then you have accomplished your goal.

ROYGBIV - The color list and order of the visible light spectrum and rainbow..........

Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.

If you are interested in more information about the visible spectrum, wavelengths, light, colors, etc.; there are all sorts of information and links below.

Alternate Descriptions for this page might be...

  • What Is the List and Color Order of the Visible Light Spectrum
  • What Are the Colors of the Rainbow and Their Order
  • Tricks to Remember Order of Colors in Rainbows and Light Spectrum
  • ROYGBIV and the gateway to wavelengths, spectroscopy, lasers, sunsets and rainbows.

The List and Order of Visible Spectrum Wavelengths

Visible light wavelengths.
Visible light wavelengths. | Source
  • Red: The lower and longer wavelengths.
  • Violet: The higher and shorter wavelengths.

Bless NASA's fuzzy little hearts...

More about colors and wavelengths in the visible light spectrum. NASA has a page about what wavelength goes with which color. And that page will lead to even more pages.

And here are some other notes...


The lines are absorption spectra. Each chemical has a unique combination and placement.
The lines are absorption spectra. Each chemical has a unique combination and placement. | Source

Spectroscopy is the science of chemical signatures as relates to wavelengths. This works with the entire spectrum, not just visible light. There is not only emission spectra, but also absorption spectra.

How Lasers Work

Lasers and the light spectrum.
Lasers and the light spectrum. | Source

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a worthy introductory page on lasers.

An Expanded Electromagnetic Spectrum List

There really isn't that much more to it...

  • Gamma Rays
  • X-Rays
  • Infrared Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet Ultraviolet
  • Microwaves
  • Radio Waves

Interesting how the visible spectrum is right in the middle. And here is a very worthy introductory page from NASA about the electromagnetic spectrum.

Weather and Rainbows...

All about sunrise and sunset colors

Sunrises and sunsets...
Sunrises and sunsets... | Source

NOAA has a page that tells us everything we would ever want to know about what causes the beautiful sunrise and sunset colors.

Colors and the visible light spectrum. Nature's natural prism known as the rainbow.

Rainbow at Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Rainbow at Great Sand Dunes National Park. | Source
Location unknown.
Location unknown. | Source


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    • CWanamaker profile image

      CWanamaker 4 years ago from Arizona

      I remember learning this in High School. I have never forgotten it. It irritates me when I see TV shows, clothing, commercials, etc that only show 6 colors in a rainbow. Why do they always seem to forget indigo? Its ROY G BIV not ROY GBV - It's easy to remember!

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Over here in the UK we were taught 'Richard of York gave battle in vain' to remember the colours. Richard III being the king who got killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

    • pyzmattooey profile image

      Larry J Hill Jr 4 years ago

      I actually learned about the Roy G. Biv thing on a show called Beakman's World.

    • LeanMan profile image

      Tony 4 years ago from At the Gemba

      CM above gives what we were taught in school and to me seems far easier to remember, Richard of York gave battle in vain; personally I would be lucky if I remembered the Roy part of your suggestion whereas I still remember what I was taught in school some .. well a few years ago..

    • profile image

      rgmg50 4 years ago

      Very interesting hub, now I will never get mixed up with the rainbow colours.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

      I learned it the same way: Roy G. Biv, and feel happy indigo is still there! I can't recall what school year though, maybe Middle Schoolish, 5th-6th grade?

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      I never knew there was a trick to memorizing the colors. I just memorized them the old-fashioned way!

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      It was always easy to remember because my real name is Roy and my last name's initial is a G. If could remember BIV I had it made. Incidentally, this same color scheme was/is used to identify a resistor by the tiny circles of color painted on them.

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 2 years ago from Kent, UK

      Richard of York, aka Richard III, mentioned above as a good way to remember the colours of the spectrum, will be (re)buried this coming Thursday in Leicester Cathedral.

      Little did he know he would gain immortality by teaching British children how to remember colours. I don't suppose he imagined his body would one day be found underneath a car park either.

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