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Encyclopedia > Opacity (optics)

A substance or object that is opaque is neither transparent nor translucent. It does not allow light to pass through it. The property of being opaque is called opacity. Degrees of opacity are converse to degrees of transparency. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Prism splitting light Light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that is visible to the eye (visible light) or, in a technical or scientific context, electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength. ...

In science, opacity may be used to describe an opaque material. In the field of air pollution, opacity of smokestack effluent is measured in percent, with 0% being transparent and 100% being opaque. This power plant in New Mexico releases sulfur dioxide and particulate matter into the air. ...

Why things are Opaque

When a beam of light strikes a surface, each ray of light hits a molecule, atom or any structural entity of the surface. Hence, it is assumed to be reflected, and overall, the entire beam appears to scatter. If the structure, or lattice, is completely regular and symmetric, then the scattering is coherent. The coherent scattering reconstructs the ray perfectly, making the surface look transparent. However, if the structure, or lattice, of the surface layers are not regular or symmetric, then the scattering is in total completely random for each ray. A beam of light is a light ray. ... Ray may refer to: A ray, or half-line in geometry or physics. ... In general, a molecule is the smallest particle of a pure chemical substance that still retains its composition and chemical properties. ... Properties An atom (Greek άτομον from ά: non and τομον: divisible) is a submicroscopic structure found in all ordinary matter. ... Scatter is a substance used in the building of dioramas and model railways to simulate the effect of grass, poppies, fireweed, track ballast and other scenery. ... The ordinary meaning of lattice is the basis for several technical usages A cherry lattice pastry A mathematical lattice that is a type of partially ordered set. ... Coherence is from Latin cohaerere = stick together, to be connected with). ...

If random scaterring occurs, and a very major part of the rays of light entering, after reflection exit from the surface of incidence, somewhat following the laws of reflection on the macroscopic level, then we observe opacity. E.g. white paper. We see a vague image formed if we, say, shine a torch onto it. So light rays on the incident side (our side of the paper) hitting it get somewhat reflected back. Hence if it is white light on our side of the paper, then the paper is white. If it is yellow light, it appears to be a yellow paper. A very major part reflects back to us. Some part of it goes through. That's why a paper held in between our eyes and a bright light source appears to be lit up. This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... A burning torch, discarded on the road in the wake of the Lewes Bonfire Night celebrations. ...



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