As light hits an object it can do several things.
It can pass through it, be absorbed by it, bounce off of it, or do any of
these in combination.
Materials that let some light pass through unchanged
are called transparent materials. An example of a transparent
material is water. You can sometimes see your face reflected in a
body of water because some light bounces off the water. Glass is
another example of a transparent material.
Translucent material lets some light through but scatters
the light. Frosted glass and tissue paper are examples of
Materials like wood or metal are opaque. Opaque
means no light passes through. A mirror is an example of an opaque
object that bounces almost all the light back into the air instead of
Many opaque objects absorb some wavelengths of the
visible light spectrum and reflect others. The colors that are
reflected are the only ones we see. The color white reflects all wavelengths of colors, that
is why something white appears white. An apple appears red because
wavelengths vary. An apple absorbs all colors except red, so only
the red light is reflected to the eye. Objects that are a mixture of
color such as purple, reflect several different wave lengths back to the
eye. Black absorbs all colors of the visible spectrum, so no light
is reflected back to the eye. Black is really the absence of color
Directions: Answer the questions about light.
material lets some light pass through unchanged.
material lets some light through but scatters
material lets no light passes through.
Indicate whether each of the following materials is
transparent, translucent, or opaque. Label in the following way:
TP - transparent
TL - translucent
O - opaque
reflects all wavelengths of colors.
Only the color
is reflected back to the eye when you look at green grass.
Only the color
is reflected back to the eye when you look at a yellow car.
is the absence of color
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