I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the phase shift that is imposed by reflection. I'm specifically thinking about things like visible light of off mirrors or RF reflecting off of silver, gold, or copper.
How is it that a resonant cavity, laser, or an antenna be tuned to increase constructive interference (and the converse by decreasing destructive interference) when many of the properties of these types of things rely on reflections? This is particularly apparent with lasers which use mirrors on either end.
I'm almost certainly confusing many different phenomenon right now.
As a thought experiment, if I have a hollow tube that is reflective to RF that has a reflective cap on one end and an RF source on the other, and I put a strictly receiving antenna in the center (or as far as I can tell, anywhere), will a usable signal be detected? I'm assuming that the antenna doesn't affect waves that pass by on the way to the capped end and that the walls are lossless. Let's also assume that the RF signal is of a single wavelength.
Based on my understanding of reflection, the phase would be inverted 180 degrees, which should result in complete deconstructive interference. Thus, there should be no detected signal. Is this correct?