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A transparent glass with water in it.
Comparisons of 1. opacity, 2. translucency, and 3. transparency. At the back of each material is a star.
Translucent containers

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

An object that is transparent can be seen through. The image you see through a transparent object is similar to the image you see without it. However, the object may be changed if the transparent object behaves like a lens or like an optical filter; this could change the size, shape, or color of the image. The opposite of transparency is opacity.

Some animals are transparent, so predators cannot see them so easily. An example of a transparent animal is the jellyfish. Transparency works better in places with a small amount of light than in places with lots of light.

Translucency[change | change source]

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

Light passes through a translucent object, but you cannot see objects behind it. The light passes through but the material scatters the light, so you cannot see the object, only its shadow.

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