The absorbency of a material to different light wavelengths determines its color. Absorbed colors are absent from the transmitted and reflected spectra. The more a certain wavelength is absorbed, the less of it appears in the transmitted light.Continue Reading
Light scatters as it passes through a translucent material. This scattering adds randomness to the light waves passing through the material, causing them to emerge defocused from the other side. Translucent materials do not obey Snell’s law at a macroscopic level, usually due to the presence of interfaces within the bulk. At the atomic level, translucent materials absorb and reemit different wavelengths of light based on their electronic configuration, molecular vibration modes, chemical bonds and selection rules. Ultraviolet and visible light wavelengths are absorbed based on material bandgaps. Glasses do not usually have bandgaps corresponding to visible light, enabling them to transmit this portion of the electromagnetic spectrum efficiently.
Interatomic and intermolecular interactions determine absorption in the longer wavelength region of the spectrum. Infrared radiation induces a dipole moment in carbon dioxide, enabling it to absorb this portion of the electromagnetic spectrum and act as a greenhouse gas. No such induced dipole occurs in other molecular atmospheric gases, such as oxygen and nitrogen, which is why these gases do not contribute to the greenhouse effect.Learn more about Colors
The color of any object, including snow, depends on the color of light under which it is observed and the wavelengths of light it absorbs and reflects. The white color of snow is due to air trapped within the crystal formation working with the ice to reflect white sunlight, causing it to appear white to the human eye.Full Answer >
The wavelengths of the colors of the rainbow range from 390 nanometers to 780 nanometers. There are wavelengths that are lower or higher than those in the visible spectrum, and several types of radiation are simply light waves with other wavelengths.Full Answer >
Black absorbs all of the wavelengths of light, converting them into heat. At the same time, black does not reflect any of the other colors.Full Answer >
Refracting prisms take advantage of the fact that light makes changes in direction when passing from one material to another, but that different wavelengths bend different amounts. Thus, prisms can split white light, which is actually light made up of multiple wavelengths, coming in at one angle into its constituent colors going out at different angles. They can also do the opposite, condensing multiple color rays into one white ray.Full Answer >