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0
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1answer
49 views

Optics - how a lens distorts the image

If we consider a small object of length $b$ that is placed flat along the axis of a concave mirror, how will the image produced be different from the object? I know that a lens will magnify or ...
17
votes
1answer
247 views

Should a superconductor act as a perfect mirror?

I have been told that metals are good reflectors because they are good conductors. Since Electric fields in conductors cause the electrons to move until they cancel out the field, there really can't ...
2
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0answers
48 views

The properties of light photons [duplicate]

Please consider a closed room with light reflecting walls and in the centre of the room there is a Lighting Bulb. Now if I switch on the bulb, the room is obviously illuminated with light. When I ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

Why doesn't dielectric materials have coloured reflections like conductors?

I'm a 3D artist trying to learn the basic (or perhaps even intermediate) level of physics of photorealistic rendering. But most artist and tutorials on the internet have little to no clue of the ...
3
votes
4answers
194 views

Shining a laser onto a mirror

Theoretically, if I shined a laser at a mirror at an angle of 0 degrees so that the light was perfectly reflected back to the light source, then I should not be able to see the light because it is not ...
0
votes
2answers
150 views

GRE practice: Total internal reflection question [closed]

Hi, I am having a lot of troubling figuring out how to solve this problem. Equations: Snell's law leads to a total internal reflection equation $$\theta_c = \sin^{-1}(1/n).$$ This angle corresponds ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

What is the physical explanation of Fresnel's equation?

When EM radiation is travelling between the media of different refractive indices, parts of it are reflected and transmitted according to Fresnel's equations. The amount of reflectivity and ...
-1
votes
1answer
37 views

What are diferent reflection percentages of different colors?

I don't need any accurate answer. Suppose reflection percentage for white is 100% (which is not even true for mirrors) then what will it be like for different colours like violet, green and red etc of ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

How can light cross $c$ in the given hypothetical experiment? Where I am wrong? [closed]

There is a concave mirror, which has somehow maintained the speed $\frac{c}{2}$ toward west ( for instance) , and there is a light wave or you can say a ray of light is moving in N-E direction. So we ...
2
votes
3answers
378 views

Non-ideal black body's thermal radiation?

Planck's law neatly describes the thermal radiation of an ideal black body in thermal equilibrium. So the question is, what about things that are not black bodies? Like an object with a mirror ...
1
vote
3answers
71 views

How does color (or reflection in general) work?

I'm confused, does the absorption and emission determine the color of something? Or does that only happen when something is emitting energy? When light hits an object, the photons get absorbed, then ...
0
votes
2answers
138 views

Which one is better 40'' parabolic mirror or 34''x44'' fresnel lens?

I want to make solar concentrator which can reach 2000F or above temperature at focussed spot, so I came across parabolic mirror and fresnel lens but I can't decide which one is better. Also I will be ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does water reflect light?

Why does water reflect light? What is actually happening when light is reflected by water? We know why metals reflect light; water, however, is not metal, but it still reflects light and we can see ...
0
votes
0answers
61 views

Proof of reflected and refracted waves being in the same plane as that of the incident wave and its projection on a planar interface

Please give a proof of reflected and refracted waves being in the same plane as that of the incident wave and its projection on an ideal planar interface between two linear, homogeneous, isotropic, ...
5
votes
4answers
814 views

Wave reflection and open end boundary condition intuition

I need to understand one seemingly simple thing in wave mechanics, so any help is much appreciated! When a pulse on a string travels to the right toward an open end(like a massless ring that is free ...
1
vote
0answers
135 views

What is this bright spot in the sky?

This is my first question here so please be gentle! I took this picutre a few minutes ago (35 minutes ago, currently 1828 here) As you can see there's a VERY bright spot on the right that shows a ...
37
votes
4answers
3k views

What causes this pattern of sunlight reflected off a table leg?

My friend noticed an interference-like pattern around the table leg. However, we do know that interference patterns of sunlight produces rainbow colours. What seems to be happening here?
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Why light rays gets scattered when it enters a translucent window pane?

Consider the light source is the light post, outside the window of my house (Pic 1). When the rays from the light post enters through the window pane which is translucent gets scattered and forms a ...
5
votes
4answers
303 views

Infinite total internal reflection

Suppose that I have a block of some transparent material, glass, for instance, with a certain index of refraction. Suppose that the transparent material is placed in air or in any other transparent ...
-4
votes
1answer
118 views

Why can't you flip a mirror upside down? [duplicate]

I want to know this out of curiosity
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Is a focal point anywhere within a plane mirror?

I know that an image on a plane mirror is always upright and the same size, but is there any focal point? Could there actually be no focal point because of that?
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0answers
125 views

Loaded Quality Factor

I came up with an expression for the reflected power of a resonator: $$\left| \Gamma \right|^2 = 1 - \frac{1-\left(\frac{\kappa - 1}{\kappa + 1}\right)^2}{1 + 4 \left( \frac{Q_U}{(\kappa + 1)} ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Is reflection actually due to very low critical angle?

When we take an example of a plane mirror, does the reflection occur because the critical angle for the silvered surface is very small? Are all the good reflectors good at reflecting because their ...
-1
votes
1answer
92 views

Why does the mirror pick up the image of the TV when the TV is not facing the mirror?

Here is a picture of the problem: Why is the mirror reflecting the TV screen when the TV screen is not facing the mirror?
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Why does light reflect?

Can anyone please explain why light reflects at the boundary between two regions with different impedances? This sounds very simple but I got confused when I tried to think of how light and atoms ...
0
votes
2answers
380 views

Thermal Imaging reflection?

I was viewing a youtube video that was about thermal imaging and saw something that caused me to ponder but I couldn't figure out an answer and the one assumption I have I don't know if it's correct. ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

Doppler shift from a transversely moving plane mirror

Below is the diagram of the question I have on the Doppler shift of a light emitted from a stationary light source $S$ at an angle $\theta_1$ toward a transversely moving plane mirror $O$ having ...
0
votes
3answers
118 views

Reflection during refraction

I have observed in a book that a light ray reflects during refraction, which is a partial reflection, but when does that occur? Is it related to the propagation of light from a greater to lesser ...
4
votes
2answers
66 views

Refraction, diffraction or reflection of human voice

Why is possible to hear in an open space someone's voice even if he's not facing me? Is it because of refraction, diffraction or reflection of the sound wave?
1
vote
2answers
119 views

x-ray diffraction of crystals

In explaining x-ray diffraction of crystals, usually the approach is to consider the atoms absorb radiation and scatter it, at some angles constructive interference occur and bright spots can be ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Effect of the refractive index of a transparent layer coating a particle?

I am modelling a cell as a particle coated by a layer of a material whose refraction index might change. This layer is to resemble the membrane. The purpose of the model is to simulate what happens ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Reflection of EM waves

In reflection of e m waves at the boundary, to show the reflected magnetic fields we put negative sign in the unit vector, example, if the B is along z direction we put (-k) in he reflected wave, ...
45
votes
2answers
6k views

Why are gold mirrors yellow?

Why are golden mirrors yellow? Do they add a yellow component to the spectrum or absorb non-yellow components? If they absorb, then why are they used in telescopes being imperfect? If they add a ...
1
vote
1answer
262 views

What range of light wavelengths can a typical mirror reflect?

A typical mirror is capable of reflecting the full spectrum of visible light. Can it also reflect other wavelengths both longer and shorter? What is the range?
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Why is rainbow always circular?

From the article that I read on physics classroom website on rainbow, rainbow is formed with red on the top and violet on the bottom because violet refracts more, and has a smaller angle of deviation ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

What are the properties of center of curvature of a parabolic mirror?

What is so special about the center of curvature of a parabola (since a parabola can't actually have a center) ? I mean, it must be something unique for it to be defined. Why is it twice the focal ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Polarized light from any suface?

From a textbook I read something like this: "When sunlight is reflected from a horizontal surface, the plane of incidence is vertical, and the reflected light contains a preponderance of light that is ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

Does light accelerate when it meets a surface? [duplicate]

Does light accelerate when it meets a surface like mirror, we know that light changes path when it meets a surface like mirror.If light changes path,even if travelling at c,this means light has ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Reflection of an Electron

When a mechanical wave goes from one material to an other, some fraction of it returns back. Same thing with light (massless), but what happens with an electron? When the "wave function" changes ...
0
votes
3answers
297 views

Question about intensity of EM waves

For electromagnetic wave if it's reflected from a perfect conductor standing wave can be form. I wonder why Poynting vector can be used to describe the intensity of standing EM wave. (see p.19 of ...
1
vote
1answer
258 views

Inside a spherical mirror

imagine standing inside a sphere composed entirely of mirror surface; what does this look like? inside is lit by an invisible light source if each point encounters a reflection of itself, what is ...
1
vote
1answer
211 views

What's the need of a polished surface in a plane mirror?

In a plane mirror, my textbook tells me that in a plane mirror one surface is polished and the other is silvered. If light gets reflected from the silvered surface, why does the polished surface have ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Can QED explain this or do I have revert to the classical model of light?

I want to know can QED can explain this image,like why there are someplaces with low light (shadows) like behind the chair, and why there are some places that are bright(rest of the floor). I know ...
5
votes
2answers
214 views

Why doesn't the sun reflect off Earth's oceans from space like a billiard ball?

According to Phil Plait, Earth is proportionally smoother than a billiard ball (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2008/09/08/ten-things-you-dont-know-about-the-earth). The water surface ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is the surface of the Moon white?

Why is the surface of the Moon white? Rather, what makes the surface white?
1
vote
0answers
53 views

How is it that light is reflected in this way in these photos?

I took 2 photos, in one there's a shutter and in the other there's the light that is reflected from the shutter to the ceiling. As you know and as you see from the first image, the shutter has ...
9
votes
1answer
872 views

Why is ice more reflective than liquid water?

Why is ice more reflective (has higher albedo) than liquid water? They're both the same substance (water). Is something quantum mechanical involved?
0
votes
1answer
107 views

What is Retracing in context of this Question?

My textbook Question is Two Mirrors are inclined at an acute angle theta.Light ray is incident parallel to one of the mirrors. Light will start retracing its path after third reflection if angle ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Why does roughened silver look gray while paper white?

Looking at reflectance spectrum of silver, given e.g. here, we can say that more than about $95\%$ of light is reflected by silver. Similarly for white notebook paper, the spectrum is given here, and ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Do parallel rays reflecting at a mirror not intersect at one point? [closed]

Let's take a concave mirror with $CP$ as its principal axis. Let's assume that a parallel ray $p$ to $CP$ reflects at $A$ to pass through the focal point $F$. Then, $\angle CAF=\angle ACF$, which ...