Difference Between Transparent and Translucent

Main Difference

The main difference between transparent and translucent is that transparent is a fully cleared material or object, whereas translucent is the object or material that is semi-clear in appearance.

Transparent Vs. Translucent

The terms “transparent” and “translucent” are used in the field of material science and optics etc. These two words refer to the physical properties of certain things that are usually used by people or used in building different structures or houses. These two terms are different. The capacity for light penetration distinguishes different objects or materials from each other. The term transparent is used for the material or object that is made up of clear material on the other side, translucent is the material or object that is made up of semi-clear material and maybe frosted, stained, or darkly colored. Transparent objects or material allow all light to pass through it without being scattered, on the flip side, only partial light can pass through a translucent material. A transparent material follows the law of refraction, whereas, a translucent material does not follow the law of refraction. A clear image formed by a transparent material; on the other side, a translucent material shows partial visibility and does not allow a clear image formation. The color of a transparent material depends on the light that it emits while, the color of a translucent material depends on the amount of light scattered, absorbed, and reflected by it. An object that is on the other side of a transparent material is clearly visible, on the flip side, an object on the other side of a translucent material is only visible to some extent. We can clearly see through transparent objects, so they are also called as see-through objects, on the flip side, we can partly see-through translucent objects, and they are also called as partially-see-through objects.

Comparison Chart

TransparentTranslucent
A material or object that is perfectly clear in its appearance is known as transparent.A material or object that is semi-clear in its appearance and maybe frosted, stained, or darkly colored, etc. is known as translucent.
Light Penetration
Transparent material allows all light to pass through it without being scattered.Only partial light can pass through a translucent material.
Law of Refraction
A transparent material follows the law of refraction.A translucent material does not follow the law of refraction.
Image Formation
A clear image formed by a transparent material.A translucent material shows partial visibility and does not allow a clear image formation.
Color of Material
The color of a transparent material depends on the light that it emits.The color of a translucent material depends on the amount of light scattered, absorbed, and reflected by it.
Clarity
An object that is on the other side of a transparent material is clearly visible.An object that is present on the other side of a translucent material is only visible to some extent.
Visibility
We can clearly see through transparent objects, and they are also called as see-through objects.We can partly see-through translucent objects, and they are also called as partially-see-through objects.

What is Transparent?

A material or object that is perfectly clear in its appearance is known as a transparent material such as ordinary glass. Transparent objects permit all light to pass through it. They follow the law of refraction. The color of a transparent material depends on the light that it emits. In addition, objects that are on the other side of something transparent are clearly visible. So, they are also called as see-through objects.

What is Translucent?

The items or objects are called translucent when made of semi-clear material that is opaque, stained, or dark in color. Translucent objects only allow a few amounts of light to pass through it. This material does not follow the law of refraction. The color of a translucent material depends on the amount of light scattered, absorbed, and reflected by it. Objects that are is present on the other side of a translucent material are only visible to a certain extent. So, they are also called as partially-see-through objects.

Key Differences

  1. A material or object that is perfectly clear in its appearance is known as transparent whereas a material or object that is semi-clear in its appearance and maybe frosted, stained, or darkly colored, etc. is known as translucent.
  2. Transparent material allows all light to pass through it without being scattered; on the other hand; only partial light can pass through a translucent material.
  3. A transparent material follows the law of refraction. Conversely, a translucent material does not follow the law of refraction.
  4. A clear image formed by a transparent material on the flip side, a translucent material shows partial visibility and does not allow a clear image formation.
  5. The color of a transparent material depends on the light that it emits while, the color of a translucent material depends on the amount of light scattered, absorbed, and reflected by it.
  6. An object that is present on the other side of a transparent material is clearly visible; on the other hand, an object on the other side of a translucent material is only visible to some extent.
  7. We can clearly see through transparent objects, and they are also called as see-through objects, on the flip side, we can partly see-through translucent objects, and they are also called as partially-see-through objects.

Comparison Video

YouTube video

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it is summarized that transparent material is an object that is perfectly clear in appearance and allow light to pass through it fully, on the other hand, translucent material is a type of material that is semi-clear in appearance and allows only partial light to pass through it.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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