This is my first forum post so I apologize in advance if I do not provide enough detail, speak clearly enough, or violate some forum etiquette. I have a few questions here all relating to the same thing so hopefully this isn't worded poorly or too much. When light strikes a surface, the color that we see is the color of the wavelength that is not absorbed by the surface. That much I know. What I'm not sure of is what is happening at the atomic level. 1) So what is it about a material that absorbs wavelengths so much so that we can only see one color reflected off a surface from a source which emits all wavelengths like the sun? What is going on at the atomic level? 2) When it comes to the color white, why is it that so few of the wavelengths in the visible spectrum of light are absorbed? 3) Are the wavelengths in the visible spectrum of light the only wavelengths that can be reflected off of something as simple or as thin as dry wall? I ask because it would seem that a light's intensity is nothing when bounced off of a painted wall, yet can be quite powerful when off of the surface of water. 4) When it comes to all of the wavelengths in the visible spectrum being absorbed in something like a black wall, why is it black? The light itself is white, the source that it is from is likely white or some other bright color, so why does a material that absorbs all of the visible spectrum appear black? Any answers would be much appreciated. Thank you!