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What is the reason behind visual properties like color and transparency of different substances? I have always heard that the structure of the substance is responsible for these properties. I always imagined that the bond length between the atoms of the substance permits photons of only some certain wavelength. But, most bonds are in the order of $1.5\unicode{xC5} $, and by my "explanation", most materials should appear to be opaque (in the visible spectrum), but they don't. Why?


marked as duplicate by John Rennie, Floris, Brandon Enright, Ali, Kyle Kanos Sep 23 '14 at 17:07

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  • $\begingroup$ AvZ: have a look through the results you get if you search this site for transparent $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Sep 23 '14 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ I did exactly that before I submitted the question, It went to google search of the site which didn't return any similar questions... $\endgroup$ – AvZ Sep 23 '14 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ Is the "color" portion of this question also a duplicate? $\endgroup$ – BMS Sep 23 '14 at 16:47