Why does light go through some things and not through others?

Light acts differently when it touches different objects. It all depends on the material that the objects are made from, or in other words, the type of matter.

Sometimes light passes right through something like water or air, these kinds of objects are called transparent.

Sometimes light cannot pass through an object at all, like a book or a stone. These are called opaque.

Other times light can go through the object a little bit, these are known as translucent objects.

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What is light?

Light is a type of energy called electromagnetic radiation. Other kinds of electromagnetic radiation are x-rays, microwaves and radio waves, but light is the type we can see, it’s what makes rainbows. Light is made up of photons. 

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Interesting facts about light

  • Some animals can see part of the light spectrum that we can’t. Many insects can see ultraviolet light.
  • Sunlight can reach 80 metres (262 feet) deep in the ocean!
  • Plants use energy from sunlight to turn carbon dioxide into food in a process called photosynthesis.