This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Opalescence is a type of dichroism seen in highly dispersed systems with little opacity. The material appears yellowish-red in transmitted light and blue in the scattered light perpendicular to the transmitted light. The phenomenon is named after the appearance of opals and is an example of the Tyndall effect.
There are different degrees of opalescent behaviour. One can still see through a slightly opalescent phase. The larger the particles are, the stronger the scattering arising from them and the cloudier the particular phase will look. At a certain concentration the scattering is so strong that all light passing through is scattered, so that it is no longer transparent.
Examples are the blue sky in the daytime and the yellowish-red sky at sunset. Another example can be made by adding a few droplets of milk to a glass of water. The liquid appears bluish. However, if one looks through the glass at a light source, it becomes yellowish-red. Opalescence is an effect exploited in lustreware pottery.
|This optics-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|