1
$\begingroup$

When a perpendicular ray of light hits a plane mirror, it is said that it reflects back the same path. But won't the incoming photons get affected or distorted by the reflected one?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Low energy photons do not interact, aside from interference effects. $\endgroup$ – Mauricio Aug 31 '18 at 15:03
1
$\begingroup$

Photons can even traverse a vacuum, nothing in it, so we (scientists) have a theory that says photons are a wave (like water waves) that gets transported in a field called the Electromagnetic (or EM field). The EM field is all around us and is responsible for all EM behaviour like electric fields, magnetism, photons/light. When 2 waves meet they superimpose (combine) but this is only temporary, the waves reemerge and travel on their way. The photons are like waves in the EM field.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ More specifically, photons are the quanta of the EM field. They can travel in a vacuum. $\endgroup$ – Aaron Stevens Aug 31 '18 at 15:20
2
$\begingroup$

Huygens had the same reasoning for why he thought light couldn't be a particle.

enter image description here

In modern physics, light is considered to behave as both a particle and a wave.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ to clarify, waves do not interact with each other except at the wave front. So if you swing a rope at one end up and down and at the other, the waves will meet each other in the middle but continue in the direction they were going. $\endgroup$ – Camelya Aug 31 '18 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ It can even be said light can be considered a particle or a wave, it depends on the experiment your doing and what your trying to show. Example is a tsunami is a wave .... not really behaving like a particle ( until maybe it hits the shoreline). $\endgroup$ – PhysicsDave Aug 31 '18 at 15:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.