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12
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5answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
158 views

Semiclassical description of EM waves reflection from metallic surfaces

Imagine an EM wave impinging on a metal. Fresnel's formulas tell us that no wave can propagate through the metal, or that the transmitted field is an evascent wave with some penetration depth ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

Laser, wire, and a circle of light

So, when I point a laser at a piece of wire (pointed at a specific angle), a circle of light appears on a wall behind it (see image below). I am trying to see why this happens and if there are any ...
4
votes
3answers
143 views

How to arrange mirrors so I can't see myself?

If I wanted to surround myself with mirrors how would I need to arrange them so that if I stood in the middle of them I couldn't see myself in any reflection? For simplicity let's just say we only ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

How to understand this symmetry in the wavefunctions of a diatomic molecule?

In Wikipedia (and elsewhere), a particular symmetry of the quantum system of a diatomic molecule is mentioned: symmetry under reflection along a plane containing the internuclear axis. The ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

Phase shift in back-reflection generated at the mating point of two fibers

If you have light traveling from glass to air at normal incidence, e.g., in an optical fiber with the endface open, the Fresnel reflection coefficient would roughly be $R = |(1.5-1)/(1.5+1)|^2 = 0.04$ ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Reflection in a cylindrical mirror

Suppose I have a completely cylindrical surface which is silvered on the inside. I want to know what type of reflection takes place when an object is placed inside the ring. Does infinite reflections ...
2
votes
3answers
482 views

During reflection does the emitted photon have same properties?

When light (photon) is reflected the the original photon is absorbed by an electron and then emitted again. Does this "new" photon have the same wavelength, frequency etc. as the original?
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Huygens' Principle During Reflection: comparing wavelets from before reflection with wavelets from during reflection

I was recently reviewing geometric optics, during which I read about Huygens' Principle and how it could be used to prove the Law of Reflection from the "light is a wave" viewpoint. I'll quote what I ...
0
votes
2answers
127 views

Light-Matter Interaction and Object's Appearance

I am taking a course in Computer Graphics, and the teacher said we could put materials in there main categories: mirror like glossy or specular diffuse He suggested that the law of reflection is ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Basic rule for diffraction

I'm a high school student. I still don't understand the reflection, diffraction and refraction of light. It seems to me that in concept of quantum physics, reflection is just a process of object ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Phase change on reflection only 0 and $\pi$ allowed

We know that when a wave on a string is reflected from a hard boundary, the phase change is $\pi$, and from a soft boundary, the change is 0. My question is: this two conditions (hard and soft ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Rainbow reflected on TV screen? (pic attached)

According to wikipedia, A rainbow is an optical and meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets... Given that we require ...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

Why does black glass reflect better than white one?

Why does black glass reflect better than white glass? Both of them are glasses, so they reflect light. But why black glass reflects better? See below, shiny black glass.
0
votes
1answer
41 views

How do you calculate the focal point location of a circular mirror? [closed]

I'm trying to find the focal point and center of curvature of a concave mirror. Just using the radius for the center doesn't seem to work. I know C = 2f, but I'm not sure how to find f or C, given the ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

What happens when light is reflected from a surface moving in a medium with a huge refractive index?

Imagine a mirror is moving away from a light source in a substance through which the speed of light is very slow -- so slow that the speed of the mirror is close to being the same as the speed of the ...
0
votes
1answer
22 views

How does one show specific thickness and wavelength determine full transmission of electromagnetic waves?

How does one show that thickness and wavelength determine the full transmission between two different dielectric media if the boundary condition equations between two dielectric media are independent ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

Does a reflecting object move faster than one that does not reflect?

Suppose you have two objects with the same mass and shape, such as a ball, and the only difference between the two is that one reflects light and the other does not. Would one object's velocity be ...
15
votes
5answers
982 views

Thought experiment regarding an object approaching a mirror

Here's a thought experiment I came up with in class today when my mind drifted (I however highly doubt I'm the first to think about this since it is pretty rudimentary) : Let's say superman ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Are images formed at the focus at all conditions?

The picture shows the image formed between c and the focus when the object is placed beyond the centre of curvature(c).But my question is since all parallel rays falling on a spherical mirror must ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

Capturing a light beam

For a given container made of an extremely reflective surface, is it possible to shine a beam of light in, and with no 'fiddling' (i.e. closing the hole, tilting the object) to contain the beam for an ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

Bragg diffraction and lattice planes

Crystalline substances show, for certain sharply defined wavelength and incident directions, very sharp peaks of scattered X-ray radiation. From the illustration below we see that we get constructive ...
189
votes
18answers
62k 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?
-1
votes
2answers
38 views

When does a monochromatic beam of light on a reflective surface get completely transmitted?

My book says when when a monochromatic beam of light is normally incident on reflective surface it gets completely transmitted. I am bit confused could you explain me?
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does my watch act like a mirror under water?

I have a digital watch, rated to go underwater to $100 \rm m$. When it is underwater it can be read normally, up until you reach a certain angle, then suddenly, it becomes almost like a mirror, ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the light reflected at the same angle from mirror?

From the school physics I know that the material objects bounce from the plane surface at the same angle, losing some kinetic energy. In the same school I was taught that the light (and waves in ...
3
votes
2answers
67 views

How would a sound mirror work?

Context: We all know that by galvanizing a plate with a silver coating, this plate will have a very high reflection coefficient and act as a mirror for EM radiation (not for all $\lambda$ ranges of ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Increase contrast on the image taken by CCD camera

I project a pattern on a reflecting object and I capture the reflected pattern (reflected via the object) using a CCD camera. However, the reflected pattern has a very low contrast (due to volume ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Law of reflection for a moving mirror

An elementary fact that people learn about mirrors is the law of reflection, that the angle of incidence of a light beam striking the mirror (as measured with respect to a normal) equals the angle of ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

Rayleigh criterion for sound and parabolic microphone

Currently I am developing a parabolic microphone for a study project. I've heard and read that the maximum wavelength of sound that the given diameter microphone can focus is determined based on the ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Light in a box with positron walls instead of electrons

I understand that with a hollow cube with the inner walls covered in mirrors given a light source briefly, the light would eventually be absorbed. This is due to electron excitation I believe. So ...
1
vote
4answers
64 views

How can a 360 Degree Rainbow be formed? [duplicate]

Just a while ago while I was reading news paper, I saw an amazing article. Someone had caught a photo of a 360 Degree Rainbow. But how is it possible. I mean after refraction the only rainbows that ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Does irregular reflection form images?

In one of my test papers at school, we had a true-false question which said "Irregular reflection can form an image." I marked it true, however I was not given any marks for the question. I asked my ...
0
votes
2answers
33 views

How are different wavelength components collected by the same detector in a spectrometer?

Let's think, we have a detector array (128x1 and each CMOS detector responds 400 to 1000 nm TSL1401CL that way, each detector has 4.6875 nm interval). Then, basically in a spectrometer a prism reflect ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

How do I calculate the apparent brightness of a mirror reflecting the sun at a given distance?

I've stumbled around trying to figure this out, but it just isn't my area and I haven't gotten far. This is for writing about an idea of a field of mirrors on the moon, on the terminator when the moon ...
0
votes
3answers
52 views

Mirrors and the human eye

Not sure if this is a suitable question for this exchange. Me and a friend are debating what can be seen through a periscope consisting only of two 45 degree mirrors. My friend tells me that the ...
7
votes
4answers
10k 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?
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Bending light (photons) into an orbit

I was wondering and researching about light bending and reflection - I'm wondering if its possible to bend a light beam into a loop (orbit)? I know that light can be bent and reflected (even 100% ...
3
votes
2answers
167 views

A mirror in the sky to look at past Earth

Earth reflects light from Sun into Space; are there any "mirror like" objects which reflect back to Earth this light? Has anyone been able to use this method to recover some information on how was the ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Fresnel equations of reflection applied to microparticles

I wanted to know if the Fresnel equations of reflection, as described here, can be used to calculate the reflectance on the interface of particles which have a diameter near the size of the wavelength ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Total internal reflection for perpendicular incidence

Are there any materials, which give total internal reflection for perpendicular incidence? Here, by this phenomena I mean: no absorption (including for evanescent propagation inside), finite ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Diffraction of a thin mirror

I have a question about a particular case of light diffraction. A laser light collides into a "hairline" mirror (I mean a straight line mirror that halves the wavelength dimension), see the image ...
3
votes
1answer
32 views

Why does the light reflecting off of ocean water sometimes appear 'smoother'?

Looking out the window at some water in the Harbour - I noticed that some parts of the water appear 'smoother' than others. My question is: Why does the light reflecting off of ocean water ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

Penny dropped in the water: What would you see if transmitted light is parallel to the incident surface

I'm working on a problem which asks what is the greatest diameter of a paper you can use to totally shield a penny dropped in the water from view. The question claims that if the transmitted ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Help understanding Fizeau's calculation of speed of light

While searching for different methods of calculating Speed of light, I came across one of the methods that Fizeau discussed below which I cannot fully understand. In short, in Fizeau’s apparatus, a ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Would the inside of a black hole be like a giant mirror?

As any light reflected or emitted from objects inside a black hole (if it is possible to be there) does not leave the event horizon and comes back inside, would it be like seeing yourself? What I ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Given two surfaces, one that absorbs light and the other that reflects it, will there be a signficant temperature difference?

My likely wrong understanding of light is this: By some way the molecules are structured, a photon hits an atom or a structure, is absorbed, then re-emitted and it's that photon wavelength that I see ...
-1
votes
1answer
40 views

Total internal reflection angle [closed]

For what angle does total internal reflection happen? I think that it happens for angle=k*pi where k is an integer with the possible values: 0, 1, 2, 3... Is my assumption correct?
1
vote
2answers
87 views

How is the image in a mirror created? Are there infinitely many light rays?

How is the image in a mirror created? Are there infinitely many light rays? My motivation for the question is from image processing. We work with images as discrete 2D functions, as matrices. Spatial ...
1
vote
2answers
523 views

Colors in the secondary rainbow reverse of that in the primary rainbow

Why the colors of Secondary rainbow is reverse of that in the color in the Primary rainbow? What can be the possible reason among the following options Because it is formed by one internal ...