Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 27 - Reading Check Questions (Comprehension): 30

Answer

Water appears cyan because it absorbs red light.

Work Step by Step

Water molecules have a natural resonance frequency in the infrared region, and a little bit in the red region, so water preferentially absorbs those frequencies. Red and cyan are complementary colors (they add to white). When red light is subtracted from white light (sunlight), the result is cyan. This is discussed on pages 514-515.
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