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A tranparent glass with transparent water in it

In optics, transparency is the property of allowing light to pass through something.

An object that is transparent can be seen through, that is what is on the other side of the object can be seen through it. The image you can see through a transparent object is similar to the image you can see without it. It may be changed if the transparent object behaves like a lens. This could change the size of the image or change its shape.

Therefore, when someone says that the government and its action should be "transparent", it is not the right use of the term. What they actually mean is that the government and its actions should be more "visible".

If some light can be seen through an object but some of the detail of the image is lost, it is a translucent material. The opposite of transparency is opacity.

Translucency[change | edit source]

Translucency is when light passes through an object, but you cannot see objects behind it. This is because some light is absorbed as it passes through, and that means that reflected light from another object is too faint to see, so you only see it's shadow.

Examples of translucent materials are frosted glass, paper, and some types of amber.