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Question of color

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Are there any colors that cannot be produced by a combination of red, blue and green? No purpose behind this question other than sheer intense curiosity. :)

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Yes. An intense violet, for example, or a deep green. An RGB monitor can only produce colors in its "gamut". At SIGGRAPH this year, they were showing off a projector with six different colors, rather than just three.

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Yes, there are colors that the human eye can see that can't be produced by RGB. There are also colors that the human eye can't see that can't be produced by RGB (Ultra violet anyone?).

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The whole idea of color is somewhat relative to the way humans perceive the world around us. Somewhat simplified explanation, but humans happen to have 3 color receptors (yellowish-green, green, and blue light) - most mammals have 2, birds have 4. More info at wikipedia.

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Note that the RGB color model itself does not define what exactly is meant by "red", "green" and "blue", so that the same RGB values can describe noticeably different colors on different devices employing this color model. While they share a common color model, their actual color spaces can vary considerably.

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How an RGB value gets mapped onto a physical wavelength is (largely) arbitrary. A suitably good device could accept an RGB value and produce whatever colour it wanted.

Current physical devices however tend to have more limited colour ranges (and most annoyingly, different devices will be able to display subtly different ranges of colour).

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