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Light and Color
Light and Color

Light and Color

Author: Nathan Lampson

This lesson will explain why objects have different colors.

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Our sun gives off all wavelengths of visible light.  The reason objects that we view have color is that they reflect only certain wavelengths of light.


Objects that are transparent can be seen through without reflecting light.  Windows are transparent because light passes through them and humans are able to see through them.


Objects that are translucent allow some light to pass through them, but they absorb and reflect some light. Murky water is often translucent - it allows light to pass through but it is not possible to see through it.


Objects that are opaque absorb and reflect all light preventing the ability to see through them.  Apples are examples of opaque objects. The skin of apples contains pigment molecules that reflect red wavelengths of light.  That is why apples appear red.