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6
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3answers
8k views

What is the color of a mirror?

A mirror couldn't be white, as then you wouldn't be able to see your reflection so clearly. It wouldn't be transparent, as that then won't reflect. So what color is it?
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does your reflection stay the same size when you move further away from the mirror?

This was an experiment I saw in my son's workbook. It said to mark out the top of your forehead and the bottom of your chin on a mirror using a whiteboard marker. Then slowly move backwards, and ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Why does your reflection suddenly turn upside down while slowly walking away from a curved mirror?

Many people should have realised, when looking into a concave curved mirror (or even a rather reflective spoon in that fact) at a close distance, you will see a slightly distorted reflection. But as ...
2
votes
2answers
208 views

How can one prove that the number of images formed by the reflecting surfaces of two plane mirrors at right angles to each other is 3?

How can one prove that the number of images formed by two plane mirrors at right angles to each other is 3? Is there a mathematical proof for the same ?
10
votes
4answers
3k views

What happens when a photon hits a mirror?

When a photon of light hits a mirror does the exact same photon of light bounce back or is it absorbed then one with the same properties emitted? If the same one is bounced back does it's velocity ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Reflection of Electromagnetic Waves

Visible light - Being an Electromagnetic wave is reflected by glass (take mirror). Would all other waves in the electromagnetic spectrum be reflected in the same way by our simple mirror... For highly ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What IS reflection?

How does quantum electrodynamics actually explain HOW reflection occurs on a microscopic scale? Note that Feynman's QED lecture series/book is not sufficient, as he only assumes that light DOES ...
2
votes
1answer
932 views

What are the properties of the partially polarized light on refraction?

When a ray of ordinary light is passed on the surface of the water the reflected light will be completely polarized( vibrations in one plane). My question is what will be plane of vibration in the ...
2
votes
2answers
931 views

Rotating mirror - Foucault's measurement of light speed

Some time ago I came across a secondary web source on measurement of light speed in water made by Foucault around 1850. I append its redrawn scheme below (light is reflected from the rotating mirror ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How do mirrors work?

Apparently, light is just a certain wavelength, or "the visible spectrum" of electromagnetic waves. If I recall correctly, my physics teacher explained to me that electromagnetic waves are basically ...
0
votes
2answers
385 views

How much of himself a person can see in the mirror? [closed]

A man who is $6$ ft tall is standing in front of a plane mirror that is $2$ ft in length. The mirror is placed lengthwise with its bottom edge $4$ ft above the floor on a wall that is $5$ ft ...
14
votes
4answers
11k views

Phase shift of 180 degrees on reflection from optically denser medium

Can anyone please provide an intuitive explanation of why phase shift of 180 degrees occurs in the Electric Field of a EM wave,when reflected from an optically denser medium? I tried searching for it ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Reflection of transverse and longitudinal waves

Why is it that when a transverse wave is reflected from a 'rigid' surface, it undergoes a phase change of $\pi$ radians, whereas when a longitudinal wave is reflected from a rigid surface, it does not ...
2
votes
1answer
252 views

Can Mirror box simulate long light travel?

Imagine that there is a cube box that has mirrors all 6 faces in . If we use a strong laser and enter in the box from a small hole on the box. The laser light travels in the box long time that we can ...
3
votes
2answers
433 views

At what angle does a single atom “reflect” a single photon?

Does this question make sense in the quantum world? Imagining a single photon (wave packet?) interacting with a single atom (its electrons etc) how do we currently describe/define the emitted photon ...
1
vote
0answers
188 views

How to derive a multi-reflection echo from a given single-reflection “trace”

Consider a one-dimensional semi-bounded "ray" (or thin "cylinder") of stratum (or just any homogeneous substance) which has several "features" along it's length (say, thin films). Consider a wave that ...
0
votes
2answers
893 views

Eliminating IR light reflection perceived by a steep viewing angle

I am having a problem with reflection on an acrylic surface, in the IR part of the spectrum. This reflection is interfering with an algorithm that looks at objects, as it makes two show up when only ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

size and distance of mirror used in projected “smart” whiteboard

Apologies in advance for complete ignorance of optics (beyond conic sections) How is the size, distance, and angle of the mirror used here calculated? The mirror is I believe the open flap in front ...
13
votes
5answers
595 views

What longest time ever was achieved at holding light in a closed volume?

For what longest possible time it was possible to hold light in a closed volume with mirrored walls? I would be most interested for results with empty volume but results with solid-state volume may ...
44
votes
1answer
6k views

Why does a window become a mirror at night?

In day, when you look in the room through the window out, you can clearly see what happens outside. At night when it's dark outside but there's light inside you can look in the window but it becomes a ...
2
votes
3answers
655 views

Electromagnetic wave reflection vs. light reflection

Related: x-ray interaction with atmosphere I know that electromagnetic waves of particular frequencies reflect from the ionosphere. And the light (which from one perspective is an electromagnetic ...
0
votes
1answer
196 views

Reflectance of Round Moon vs Flat Moon

Treating the moon as an ideal, bright Lambertian reflector, I was trying to compare its efficiency as a light source to an equally-sized flat sheet of drywall. It's pretty straightforward to set the ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

reflection, refraction and diffraction occur in radio waves, which one occurs the most?

One of the things about Radio waves is that they undergo different behaviors such as reflection, refraction and diffraction when in contact with obstacles such as walls, buildings etc. what i want to ...
13
votes
4answers
694 views

Is there a limit to the resolving power of a mirror telescope?

Like, if you hammered out the asteroid 16 Psyche into a 1 mm thick iron foil disc telescope mirror with 2.4x the radius of the Sun, could you resolve details on the surface of an exoplanet? At what ...
3
votes
2answers
737 views

What's it like in a sphere mirror? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What happens to light in a perfect reflective sphere? I was working on my toy ray tracer when I pondered on this: Say we build a hollow sphere big enough to fit a ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How to calculate the temperature of a receiving point from concentrated solar power?

I'm exploring a DIY project about solar power and have found very few resources that can explain, in a not too simple but not too advanced way, how to go about calculating important values in solar ...
3
votes
2answers
253 views

Light and parabola

I know that parallel light beams hitting a parabola will be focused at the focus of the parabola (f = 1/4a) and a light source at the focus of the parabola will ...
2
votes
5answers
4k views

Reflection At Speed of Light

I have looked online to no avail. There is two competing answers and I am curious to know which one is right. Someone asked me this question. If you are traveling at the speed of light can you see ...
2
votes
0answers
148 views

Modeling a spray painted polyurethane surface reflection

I'm modeling light interaction/reflection from a fiberglass surface with polyurethane epoxy (that is very reflective) that has been spray painted with a matte black paint. I'm looking for some input ...
3
votes
2answers
911 views

How to make mirrors give more authentic image of myself

My friend bought two normal mirrors from some shop probably IKEA, looking like this one: My images are different from the two. One is a little fatter and shorter, and the other a little thinner and ...
5
votes
2answers
755 views

Distance of objects in car mirrors

We've all seen that label on our passenger side mirrors that says, "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear." Why is this? Further, why does it only apply to the passenger side mirror, and not ...
-6
votes
1answer
725 views

Light Energy Absorption In Mirror

Let the amount of energy in one pulse of (laser) light be $E$, and the wavelength be $\lambda$. This pulse goes straight to the mirror, and it is reflected by the mirror. Let the reflectivity of ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What happens to light in a perfect reflective sphere?

Let's say you have the ability to shine some light into a perfectly round sphere and the sphere's interior surface was perfectly smooth and reflective and there was no way for the light to escape. If ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

How come an anti-reflective coating makes glass *more* transparent?

The book I'm reading about optics says that an anti-reflective film applied on glass* makes the glass more transparent, because the air→film and film→glass reflected waves (originated from a paraxial ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Why does light reflect more intensely when it hits a surface at a large angle?

I mean, what is happening at a microscopic level to cause this behavior? Here's what I got from Wikipedia: On Reflection (physics)#Reflection of light it says that "solving Maxwell's equations for a ...
0
votes
2answers
215 views

How to apply Andreev reflection formalism to ferromagnet ,normal metal interface?

The traditional formalism for andreev reflection deals with what happens at normal metal, super conductor interface.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreev_reflection (i.e when an electron from normal ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How do you calculate the intensity of light around the focal point from a focused collimated beam of light?

Problem/Purpose of me asking this question to you people who know more than me: So I'm doing a science project where I'm collimating a beam of light to a focus point in a light medium (water vapor or ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Polarization and mirrors

When a light beam reaches a dielectric surface, the incident and reflected beams have different intensities depending on polarization. For the so-called Brewster's angle, the reflected light is ...
5
votes
2answers
369 views

How long do reflections take?

How long does it take for a photon to be reflected? Starting with the photon being absorbed by some atom to the point it's reemitted? And what's the same point with pressure waves, like sound?
0
votes
1answer
531 views

How are these balls reflected after they hit each other? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Physics of simple collisions I have 2 photos of the balls, one before the collision and one after the collision. They do a elastic collision. I want to know how is the ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Focusing Light with Flat Mirrors

What is the best way to focus (sun)light using flat mirrors? My goal is to start a fire. Cutting the mirrors is easy.
11
votes
2answers
4k views

How does reflection work?

In Newton's model of light as being composed of particles, it's easy to imagine reflection as being the rebounding of individual corpuscles off a surface. However, since light can also behave like a ...
4
votes
1answer
573 views

Why can't I see far when I look in a mirror?

I'm myopic. It's a fact. I understand exactly how it works because Internet told me light rays encounter themeselves too soon in my eyes... that is why I can't see far objects even if I see near ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Why can't my eye see itself in the mirror through polarizing 3D-glasses?

I found a pair of polarizing "3D glasses" lying around, and tried to look at myself in the mirror while wearing them. To my utter confusion, when closing the left eye and only looking through the ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

UV reflective surfaces

Do surfaces that reflect visible light efficiently also reflect UV light? If not, are there surfaces that do? (I have a large array of UV LEDs that I need to make larger and more diffuse, so I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
520 views

The Interactions of Light and Matter

So basically, I was trying to find a good answer to the question of how light interacts matter. Namely on the quantum level what causes matter to appear transparent, reflective, opaque, etc I came ...
4
votes
3answers
606 views

Virtual images in (plane) mirrors?

The following image is taken from teaching physics lecture Was man aus virtuellen Bildern lernen kann (in German): Now the cited paper claims that the left hand side is the correct picture to ...
5
votes
5answers
389 views

Trapping a lightray

Given a solid whose interior is a hollow sphere with perfectly reflecting mirrors. A small hole is drilled in the sphere and a photon is sent in at some angle. Will it always eventually exit through ...
177
votes
17answers
58k views

A mirror flips left and right, but not up and down

Why is it that when you look in the mirror left and right directions appear flipped, but not the up and down?
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Can you see yourself in a mirror when you are riding on top of a light stream?

What happens if you would ride on top of a light stream and you would look into a mirror that is in front of you, could you actually see your own face? I am asking this because I heard that nothing ...