Translucent vs Transparent
Transparent and translucent are two terms that are widely used in many fields, in physics. Basically these two terms can be used to describe some of the physical properties of a material. Translucent materials allow light to pass through them. Transparent materials not only allow light to pass through them but also allow the image formation. There are also many industrial applications of transparent and translucent materials. It is vital to have a good understanding in the concept of these two properties in order to understand the fields such as material science, optics etc. In this article, we are going to discuss what these two properties are, definitions of them, their similarities, and finally the difference between transparent and translucent.
Transparent materials allow light to pass through them. In most materials, electrons do not have available energy levels above them in the range of the visible light. That means there is no appreciable absorption. This makes some materials transparent. Transparent materials also follow the law of refraction.
Transparent materials appear clear, with the overall appearance of one color. They also may have a combination of colors to make a brilliant spectrum of every color. Many liquids and aqueous solutions are highly transparent. The molecular structure and the absence of defects (voids, cracks) are responsible for this.
Diamonds, cellophane, Pyrex, and soda-lime glasses are said to be popular demonstratives for transparent materials. Some materials allow much of the light fall on them to be transmitted, with little being reflected. Such materials are called optically transparent. Plate glass and clean water are examples for optical transparent materials.
The transparent materials are also called as diaphanous materials. There are several industrial applications of transparent materials such as transparent ceramics for high energy lasers, transparent armor windows, high energy physics, medical imaging applications and many more.
Translucent materials allow light to pass through them, but not exactly same as transparent materials. Translucency does not necessarily follow the law of refraction. Translucency occurs when light photons are scattered at either of the two interfaces where there is a change in the index of refraction.
Translucent materials do not appear much clear like the transparent materials. When light encounters a material, it can interact with material in several different ways. The wavelength of the material and the nature of it are responsible for this. Photons interact with materials of some combination of reflection, transmission, and absorption. Translucent materials absorb much light than transparent materials.
Frosted glasses, colored glasses, wax papers and ice cubes have translucent property. The opposite property of translucency is opacity.
Transparent vs Translucent
- Transparent materials allow much light to pass through them than translucent materials.
- Transparent materials follow the law of refraction, but translucent materials do not necessarily follow it.
- Transparent materials appear much clearer than translucent materials.
- Transparent materials allow image formation, but translucent materials do not allow for a clear image formation.
- The amount of structural defects is less in transparent materials than translucent materials.