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What Happens When Light Hits an Object?

In this worksheet, students will explore transparent, translucent and opaque materials as well as transmission, absorption and reflection of light.

'What Happens When Light Hits an Object?' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Physics: Waves

Curriculum subtopic:  Light Waves

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

The material that objects are made of affect the way light behaves when it hits them.

- Transparent materials are see-through and they let light travel through them.

- If you can only see a glow of light through a material and not a full ray of light, the material is translucent.

- Opaque objects do not let light any travel through. 

Glass is an example of transparent objects, whereas paper is translucent. Wood or metal is opaque. Shadows are formed when light hits an opaque object (see picture).

 

 

When light passes through an object, we say it is transmitted. Transparent objects transmit a lot of light. When light bounces off objects we say it is reflected.

Darker objects absorb light more than pale ones do. When an object absorbs light, it warms up. This is because light energy changes into heat energy.

From the list below, select the missing word which completes this sentence:

 

Light travels through ______________ objects.

opaque

transparent

pale

Complete the following sentence by selecting one of the options below:

 

We say an object is translucent when......

light travels through it.

it absorbs light.

it lets some light travel through it but not much.

Tick three statements that are true about opaque objects.

they absorb light

light does not travel through them

they form shadows

light travels through them

Match the material with the correct word, according to how light behaves with that material.

Column A

Column B

wood
opaque
glass
translucent
paper
transparent

Which word means that light bounces off something?

refraction

reflection

dispersion

Select the missing word in this sentence from the options below:

 

Transparent objects _________ more light than translucent objects.

transmit

reflect

absorb

Is the following statement true or false?

 

To absorb means to reflect.

true

false

Select the missing word in this sentence from the options below:

 

Darker objects __________ more light than paler ones.

reflect

transmit

absorb

What type of energy does light change to when it hits an object and is absorbed?

Why is it good advice to wear lighter colours in the summer?

to look better

to keep cool

to be lighter

  • Question 1

From the list below, select the missing word which completes this sentence:

 

Light travels through ______________ objects.

CORRECT ANSWER
transparent
EDDIE SAYS
Transparent objects let light travel through them.
  • Question 2

Complete the following sentence by selecting one of the options below:

 

We say an object is translucent when......

CORRECT ANSWER
it lets some light travel through it but not much.
EDDIE SAYS
Translucent objects let some light travel through them but some light is also absorbed by the object.
  • Question 3

Tick three statements that are true about opaque objects.

CORRECT ANSWER
they absorb light
light does not travel through them
they form shadows
EDDIE SAYS
Opaque objects do not let light travel through them, because they absorb various amounts of it (depending on their colour) and they form shadows.
  • Question 4

Match the material with the correct word, according to how light behaves with that material.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

wood
opaque
glass
transparent
paper
translucent
EDDIE SAYS
Wood does not let light go through it, but glass does and some light travels through paper.
  • Question 5

Which word means that light bounces off something?

CORRECT ANSWER
reflection
EDDIE SAYS
Light reflects (bounces off) some surfaces, and is absorbed or transmitted by others.
  • Question 6

Select the missing word in this sentence from the options below:

 

Transparent objects _________ more light than translucent objects.

CORRECT ANSWER
transmit
EDDIE SAYS
Transparent objects let more light pass through them than translucent ones, which means that they transmit more light.
  • Question 7

Is the following statement true or false?

 

To absorb means to reflect.

CORRECT ANSWER
false
EDDIE SAYS
To absorb means to take in or soak up. Objects which absorb light do not let any/much light pass THROUGH them.
  • Question 8

Select the missing word in this sentence from the options below:

 

Darker objects __________ more light than paler ones.

CORRECT ANSWER
absorb
EDDIE SAYS
Dark objects absorb more light than lighter or paler objects.
  • Question 9

What type of energy does light change to when it hits an object and is absorbed?

CORRECT ANSWER
heat
heat energy
EDDIE SAYS
Light is changed into heat energy, which means that the object that has absorbed the light becomes warmer.
  • Question 10

Why is it good advice to wear lighter colours in the summer?

CORRECT ANSWER
to keep cool
EDDIE SAYS
Light colours absorb less light than dark ones, so we can keep cooler in the summer by wearing lighter coloured clothes, which will reflect more light (and therefore heat) away from our bodies.
---- OR ----

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