What is going on?
White light is comprised of all of the colours of the rainbow i.e. the light spectrum - visible light ranges in frequency from VIOLET (400nm) to RED (700nm).
Different materials absorb and reflect the different colours of light. The different colours represent different wavelengths of light. A red object is only 'red' when you see the red wavelength of light being reflected off it. So a red car reflects red light, while the other light wavelengths get absorbed. The green light from your torch does not have a red wavelength in it. Because the red car only absorbs green light, no light is reflected and you are left seeing a black car.
Find out more on light through the external link Museum Victoria.
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