Questions tagged [reflection]

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Fermat's Principle of Least Time

I was going through the Feynman Lectures on optics when I came across an explanation for Fermat's Principle. I did not fully understand the explanation- can someone please break it down in a simpler ...
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Number of reflections in inclined plane mirrors [on hold]

If two mirrors are inclined at an angle $\theta$, a ray of light reflects off the first mirror making an angle $\alpha$ (i = 90-$\alpha$), after how many reflections will the light ray deviate such ...
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3answers
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Does a photon's wavelength (and energy) change when reflecting off a mirror?

The momentum of a photon is $\ p=E/c.$ When a photon reflects off a mirror, it is elastic scattering. Elastic scattering should keep the energy of the photon. But radiation pressure states, that ...
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3answers
57 views

Do photons attenuate when they reflect?

I was watching a video on solar sails and it described how the momentum of the individual photons striking the sail is planck's constant divided by the wavelength of the photon. Does this mean that ...
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2answers
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Why does gradually increasing refractive index coating reduce reflection?

Why does gradually increasing refractive index coating reduce reflection? EDIT: As @Michael Seifert nicely describes in his answer, reflection only occurs if there is an abrupt change in refractive ...
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1answer
59 views

Explaining phase shift from a half-silvered mirror

I am trying to understand why light undergoes a phase shift when reflecting off one side of a half-silvered mirror, but not the other side. This Wikipedia page and this answer both give the following ...
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1answer
42 views

Why does a wave reflect on the edge of an open tube? [duplicate]

Why does a wave reflect on the edge of an open tube? There is nothing solid to make the wave bounce. Then why is it reflected?
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0answers
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Reflection coefficient phase using Kramers Kronig, formula equivalence

Why are the following two formulas for the phase of the reflection coefficient equivalent (according e.g. to [1])? \begin{align} \Theta(\omega_0) & = - \frac{\omega_0}{\pi}P\int_{0}^{\infty}\frac{...
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2answers
30 views

Change of Young double slit pattern after a reflection

I made a Young double slit experiment on sunlight that showed clearly the pattern of maximum and minima demonstrating the wave aspect of light.Anyway, if, beyond the double slit the light is ...
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1answer
54 views

Law of reflection of a moving mirror in special relativity (velocity perpendicular to the normal)

I have seen this question about the law of reflection in special relativity, and it is shown that, if you have a mirror moving in the opposite direction to the mirror's surface normal, the law of ...
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3answers
87 views

Does the accelerated mirror violate the energy conservation principle within the framework of special relativity?

I have designed a thought experiment for which I could not find a convincing resolution as of yet. Assume that a plane mirror is uniformly accelerated (Born rigid acceleration) along its normal, and a ...
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0answers
26 views

How does reflection work at a quantum level? [duplicate]

Thinking of light in corpuscular form, how does the bouncing of a photon off a reflective surface work? Is it the same photon bouncing off, or is it absorbed and re-emitted? If it's bouncing, does it ...
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2answers
101 views

Can light travel through a maze? [closed]

I want to manufacture a light proof enclosure. I need to understand: if I design a cap with a "U" section profile edge and the body with "T" or "U" section profile edge, will light be able to get ...
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1answer
56 views

Reflection of an under-water-object

I saw a photograph of a polar bear who is under the water surface. I would like to receive an explanation about the reflection of the polar bear on the water surface, which creates a second image.
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1answer
40 views

What's the intuition for the reflection of a quantum particle at a potential step equal to the particle's energy?

While doing the problem of potential step, I saw that if the energy of the particle is equal to the potential energy of the step, then the wave function is a constant, or to say the probability ...
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4answers
158 views

What happens when one side of a convex lens is made fully reflecting?

Assume that I have got a bowl half-filled with mercury. In this bowl, I place a convex lens which make one side of the lens fully reflecting. What will happen to the lens, will it behave like a ...
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Fermat's principle of least time for reflection and refraction [duplicate]

In discussing geometrical optics, Fermat's principle of least time is often used to solve problems and is generally used as a replacement of laws of reflection and refraction. Fermat's principle is ...
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1answer
83 views

Why can't two truly identical experiments on quantum scale give the same result?

When we refract light on air/water interface, some part of light is reflected while some of it gets refracted. My question is when we consider light as a photon and send it (photons) one by one, what ...
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1answer
38 views

Image formation of object on itself by a system of a lens and a mirror

Suppose there is a lens and a mirror. An object is placed in front of this system (nearer to the lens). If the final image of object (refraction, reflection and again refraction) is formed on the ...
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0answers
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Parallel rays hitting a parabolic mirror at an angle [closed]

I was thinking about parallel rays hitting a mirror that has a parabolic horisontal cross-section and a linear (straight) vertical cross-section. I can't understand what would happen if the rays came ...
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1answer
39 views

Why do the LINES in a vertical soap bubble get thinner as we go down?

I understand that the soap bubble gets thicker at the bottom of the bubble due to gravity, resulting in a complicated array of different colors of different wavelengths being constructively and ...
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1answer
56 views

3D reflection of a ray on a cylindrical mirror

I am trying to calculate the reflection of a ray on a cylindrical mirror in a three-dimensional space. To achieve this, can I apply the laws of reflection separately in xy and xz planes (as in the ...
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1answer
31 views

Layer of material that transmits light in one direction and absorbs it in the other direction

I am looking for a material (or layer of materials) which transmits light coming from one side and absorbs light coming from the other side. The absorption should be as good as possible and the ...
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0answers
20 views

How to analyse dielectric discontinuity in Waveguide?

I came across this question the solution given was to use the formulae for reflection coefficient with characteristic impedance of wave guide replacing the ones in boundless medium. What I am ...
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1answer
63 views

Why does a rainbow only form with a 42° angle? [duplicate]

Why do rainbows only form with a 42° angle? Is there something special about this angle?
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2answers
36 views

Far sighted mirror reflection

I am far sighted. I need reading glasses to see clearly up to a distance of approximately 14 inches. Why, when I look in a mirror is the frame around the glass blurry but my face crystal clear?
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Can we study the effects of Quantum reflection on heavy atoms?

From what I've looked at, it feels like QR has only been studied on light atoms like He, Ne, Na, H, etc. But can we study this effect on heavy atoms like Rb-87. If not, is it because of the ...
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Why does a stationary mirror reflect different imagery depending on observer's angle?

I'm a scientifically uneducated buffoon with little schooling, who has just been reading about the simulation hypothesis and now can't work out something that should be straightforward. I'm lying on ...
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1answer
20 views

Do dieletric mirrors and other reflective surfaces have a maximum intensity to which the absoprtion coefficient increases?

That is, if you shine a laser at a dielectric mirror so that the intensity(photons/seconds*cm^2)becomes sufficiently large, the scattering of the photons off the electrons in the surface atoms becomes ...
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1answer
32 views

Boundary condition for partial reflection

I want to solve a wave equation for the wave $\psi(x,t)$. One boundary is moving, therefore I impose the velocity $$v(x=0)=v_a\cos(\omega t)$$ the other boundary is fixed, but reflecting. If the ...
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1answer
46 views

How do I explain the below phenomenon I am seeing along the edges of my eyeglass lenses?

I am near-sighted. Here is the phenomenon: I stand in front of a light source that is situated on the ceiling so that it reflects off my eyeglass lenses and appears circular. It is a white light ...
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1answer
31 views

Reflection and Transmission at oblique incidence Griffiths

I’m working through Griffiths E&M and on page 408 he gives the boundary conditions for oblique incidence. I’ve spent an hour trying to understand how he goes from the boundary condition $$\...
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1answer
46 views

Images created by a pair of perpendicular mirrors

Let's assume we're given a pair of perpendicular mirrors. Let us set a system of coordinates as shown on the picture - the position of an object is given by $(x_p, y_p)$. Of course we would observe ...
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2answers
110 views

Snell's law and Fermat's principle

I have read this sentence on a book about the Snell's law of refraction, referring on a ray that passes from air ($n_1=1$) to glass ($n_2=1.55$): "Snell's equation can be derived from Fermat's ...
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Which is the optical axis of fibres-in-host nanostructure material?

Suppose we have a nanostructred material composed of aligned (cylindrical) fibres embedded in a host, effectively forming a uniaxial crystal. Which would be the optical axis of this crystal, along ...
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How to incorporate refractive index in transfer matrix method

I need to determine the TE and TM reflections at the interface between a uniaxial crystal and air, using a matrix-based method, such as the TMM. I can do so using the Fresnel equation with ease, but ...
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3answers
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Shooting a single photon at a 1/2 transparent 1/2 mirror 45 degree piece of glass [duplicate]

I have very limited knowledge of any of this (read: none), but have wondered this for a number of years: What would happen if one were to shoot a single photon at a piece of half transparent / half ...
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Why is the reflection of CFL bulb a green spot on my glasses

Why is that if i try to see the reflection of a CFL bulb (the bulb is on) using my glasses i see it as 2 green spots instead of a white light. plus this happens on the outerside of the lenses...not ...
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3answers
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How do window blinds work?

How do window blinds help to reduce the temperature in a room? On the one hand, I know that drawing the blinds helps my room to stay cool in the summer. On the other hand, just as much sunlight is ...
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1answer
24 views

Can iridescence be produced with a monochromatic light source?

An iridescent substance appears to change color based upon the angle of observation, and I assume this is because the substance reflects different frequencies of light at different angles. My ...
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2answers
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Angles of Refraction,Internal reflection and incidence

First ill ask my question in brief and then ill elaborate it below... Theoretically is it that internal reflection occurs within a solid sphere(which is considered to be the denser medium) if and ...
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1answer
63 views

What can be used to change the direction of the laser beam? [closed]

Let's say we have a laser beam coming from a source called X, we would like to change its direction so that it would hit directly on the object that we have. What would be the possible solutions?
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1answer
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What is the best material to be detected by hearing-wave sonar?

I would like to find a material which could very noticeably reflect or absorb a sound wave frequency between 20Hz and 22kHz, preferably in a grassy or organic nature environment. Preferably this would ...
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Change rate of reflection vs. incident angle

It is known that the reflection on the surface could be determined by Fresnel equations. The reflection increases as the incident angle of light becomes bigger. When we look at the change rate of ...
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1answer
79 views

Image formation for concave mirror when object is at centre of curvature

Everywhere I see it is quoted that when an object is at C its reflected image by a concave mirror will also be at C (and be inverted and equal-sized), but when I draw it this is impossible, it always ...
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Acoustics in heterogeneous medium: Reflection and Tranmission

I am trying to understand the effect of changing impedance on acoustic pressure wave. I have attached the image from the book "Fundamentals of Acoustics"(Kinsler et. al)(r1 and r2 are the impedance of ...
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0answers
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Total amount of diffusely reflected light off of a sphere?

I have a numerical simulation that uses ray tracing to calculate the total amount of light picked up by a sensor, after diffusely reflecting off of an object. To validate this simulation, I'd like to ...
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4answers
2k views

Reverse of diffraction

Can we arrange a practical in such a way that the dark and bright bands in diffraction grating be allowed to pass through the same slit to get the original light (i.e the incident light before ...
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Appearence of colors on heated ceramic surface

I've recently noted that whenever I put hot food or blow hot air on the plates I have home, the following colors appear on the slightly heated areas and disappear quickly as the plate cools down again....
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1answer
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Why does the Complex Index of Refraction take part in the Reflection?

I'm aware that in Optics, the complex index-of-refraction $\eta = n+ik$ is used, which famously leads to the reflection property at an incident angle, i.e. Fresnel's law: $$R=\frac{(n-1)^2+k^2}{(n+1)^...