The optical properties of a material define how it interacts with light. The optical properties of matter are studied in optical physics, a subfield of optics. The optical properties of matter include:
- Refractive index
- Transmittance and Transmission coefficient
- Reflectance and Reflectivity (reflection coefficient)
- Perceived color
- Optical bistability
- Optical activity
A basic distinction is between isotropic materials, which exhibit the same properties regardless of the direction of the light, and anisotropic ones, which exhibit different properties when light passes through them in different directions.
The optical properties of matter can lead to a variety of interesting optical phenomena.