Questions tagged [reflection]

This tag is for questions relating to reflection, the change in direction of a wavefront at an interface between two different media so that the wavefront returns into the medium from which it originated. A familiar example of reflection comes from water waves; as the waves travel they reflect off objects that are floating in the water, and also reflect off the walls of the container holding the water.

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Images formed by a pair of plane mirrors

I've been taught that if a point-sized object is placed between two plane mirrors at an angle theta with each other, then the number of images formed is $360^{\circ}/\theta$ or $360^{\circ}/\theta - 1$...
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Are there yet Optical Magnetic Mirrors (OMMs) which reflect via interaction with the magnetic field?

update 2021: As the question has remained unanswered for five years and the field of optical metamaterials has advanced, I think this question can be revisited. The most familiar mirror relies on ...
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What causes materials like Vantablack to have their high optical absorption properties?

As per the title of this post. From reading, I understand that blackbody radiation is a factor I should consider here, with light being absorbed and converted to heat etc. However, what I want to ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Explanation of formation of Newton's rings

I was asked to do a lab report in my University about Newton's rings experiment that we made in lab. I understand that the aim of the experiment is to measure the wavelength of a light after the ...
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Reflection of "phone screen" light in a window

I've noticed that the reflection of a phone (or computer) screen in a window (or other smooth surface) has distorted colors (towards red-purple or green-yellow), which change as the screen is rotated ...
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Explanation for possible interference on a home mirror?

I've noticed that a few peculiar things about home commercial mirrors that aren't present with industrial/scientific mirrors. This is one of the mirrors I used. With the mirror like the one above, ...
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4 votes
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What causes this circular reflection to form?

Holed up at home, I was distracting myself by shining my green laser pointer around. Something particularly interesting happened when I pointed the laser at a reflective black plastic surface. The ...
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4 votes
1 answer
801 views

Under water light reflection of air in a cup vs water in a cup

The last time I was on vacation I was drinking on the swimming pool, and after I was finished with the drinks I started playing with the 2 plastic cups I had, and noticed that the air produces a ...
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2 answers
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Why are filter flare images centrally inverted?

A previous question asked about the origin of the ghost-like image of the fluorescent bulb on this image, which turns out to be something called a filter flare, of which there are more examples here ...
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3 votes
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Diffusion of a particle between two immiscible liquids

I am trying to find a model, or construct my own to describe the diffusion of a particle between layers of immiscible fluids with different densities. The particle size is much larger than the sizes ...
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2 answers
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Reflection transfer function of a Fabry-Perot cavity

I am trying to calculate the transfer function of a Fabry Perot optical cavity. All the resources I have looked up, do the following. They start with an incident light field $e^{i\omega t}$ and write ...
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Focusing of a cylindrical mirror in X-ray optics

Focusing cylindrical mirror are sometimes used to squeeze a photon beam in one direction. They can be vertically focusing or horizontally focusing, and such mirrors are typically used in X-Ray optics ...
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1 answer
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What type of mirror is feasible for Schlieren photography setup?

I would like to build a Schlieren photography system with a single mirror setup*. My question is - what type of mirror (parabolic/spherical) is good or at least feasible for this setup? The theory ...
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What are the limitations on the Paraxial Approximation?

What my physics book referred to as the paraxial approximation derived to be thus: $$\frac{1}{s}+\frac{1}{s'}=\frac{2}{R}$$ as a way of showing that in a concave spherical mirror, all reflected rays ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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What would be the best material to reflect radio waves?

From what I could gather after a quick search on the internet, it would seem that any material can reflect or absorb RF waves but thickness matters. It's obvious that most parabolic dishes are made ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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When measuring IR for temperature of shiny surfaces, how is the object own emission added to the reflection?

While discussing measuring temperature of a heated glass plate used in 3D printers, it was pointed out that IR thermometers are not accurate because, for uncoated and shiny glass surface, they measure ...
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Where does 1/20th of wavelength come from when referring to maximum mesh size that will reflect a radio wave?

In our physics class, we were taught that radio waves would reflect from surfaces even if they have gaps. Example, radio telescopes are made from mesh instead of the solid, or a microwave that has a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Can a pool of water be used to reflect heat from light?

I am designing a low impact house. I had planned to use a reflecting pool of water to increase the passive solar gain in the house in winter: and reflect it away in the summer (note the structure on ...
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2 votes
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How can you show that there is destructive interference if Bragg‘s law is not fulfilled?

How can you show that there is destructive interference if Bragg‘s law is not fulfilled? For a given angle $\phi$, spacing $d$ and wavelength $\lambda$: suppose that the path difference between the ...
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2 votes
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129 views

How does a broadband dielectric Mirror work?

It is widely known that dielectric mirrors work with several layers of at least two materials which differ in refractive index that are layered, such that partially reflected waves interfere ...
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dynamic understanding of waves on string

I am a high school student and I am very confused in reflection of waves on string. My confusion is : when a transverse pulse on string reaches a rigid end, how is the reflected pulse inverted in ...
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Why do waves reflect in phase off of soft boundaries?

Based on Newton's third law of motion I understand how waves reflect pi out of phase off of hard boundaries (see gif 1), but what would be the reasoning as to why waves reflect in phase off of free ...
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Image method for room impulse response simulation

I am following this paper on simulating a room impulse response (RIR). The wave of a single frequency $\omega$ point sound source in location $X$ as it is viewed by a microphone located at $X'$ is: $$...
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2 answers
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How does a non-infinite monochromatic plane ray of light know which way to refract?

I have been making a simulation of light traveling in medium from classical physics perspective and while trying to makes sence of a traveling wave packet i realized i don't understand something very ...
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Reason for phase change in the electric field oscillations, not the magnetic field oscillations?

Wikipedia states that when an EM wave undergoes reflection, there is a phase change only in the electric field oscillations, not the magnetic field oscillations. It also suggests that the opposite is ...
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2 votes
2 answers
129 views

What determines how transparent a material is?

Every time light hits a material, both reflection and refraction occurs. How does a material determine how much light gets reflected/ refracted e.g. glass vs silver? So far what I could find is light ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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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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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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2 votes
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How long does it take for a wave pulse on a string to get reflected from rigid boundary?

This question arises from analysis of standing waves.The incident wave has the equation $$y=Asin(kx-\omega t)$$The reflected wave has the equation$$y=Asin(kx+\omega t +\pi)$$When determining the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
347 views

In diffraction When wavelength is less than slit width then does the scattered light gets absorbed & emitted from the wall or just rebound?

I know that when the slit width is less than that of wavelength then the slit will act as a point source and scatter the light in all directions. But my question is that during the scattering of ...
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What are upper reflectivity bounds of materials

I know that if i take metal-coated fiber i can send light signals to large distance, because signal would reflect inside fiber, lowering attenuation. Just like in optical fiber communication network. ...
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1 answer
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Perception of rainbows

Does the shape of a rainbow have anything to do with the concave shaped back of a raindrop, from which the light is reflected?
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Trying to prove, that an initial spatial and restricted displacement on an infinite string, with a density discontinuity, will transmit AND reflect

This is a rather trivia problem, but I have been trying to prove it, since all of the Books I have read - online or not - take it for granted. The problem I'm talking about is "Vibration of String" ...
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2 votes
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Is it possible the opposite of tunneling?

In tunneling we have particles of energies $E<V$ going through barriers of potential $V$. Can we get particles of energies $E>V$ get reflected by these barriers of smaller potentials?
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2 votes
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239 views

Standing spherical wave solution

Let's say we have a spherically symmetric light wave $u(r,t,\theta,\phi)= u(r,t)$ that satisfies the following wave equation with spherically symmetric potential $V(r)=2/r^2$ (also set $c= 1$ so $\...
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Can partial reflection be explained?

QED can calculate The probability of partial reflection but does not offer an explanation as to how this happens. Feynman created an algorithm that matched the data. I have searched but cannot find ...
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What happens to Newton's Third Law during the reflection of a pulse from a free end?

Well, it is known that a pulse gets inverted when it gets reflected from a fixed support while the polarity of the pulse remains same when the incident pulse gets reflected from a free end. However, I'...
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2 votes
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Standing Waves in a String of two Linear Densities

Given a string with sections of two linear densities like this: Does the point where the two linear densities meet have to be a node if a standing wave is produced? Are there alternatives? Could I ...
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2 votes
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statistical property of light reflected from a coarse mirror

This is a problem comes up in my study in correlation reflectometry. I'm wondering if there is a straight-forward way to interpret the phase and amplitude of the reflected light from a perturbed ...
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2 answers
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Can a virtual image created by a mirror have position in front of the mirror?

I dont think so, because then the rays will intersect and the image will be real. Please let me know if you know a case in which a virtual image is formed in front of the mirror.
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2 votes
0 answers
284 views

Maximum laser power that mirror can handle?

Can I use standard mirrors used for lasers used for laser shows to build some laser that has higher power and is able to burn materials? What are power and power density limitations that cannot be ...
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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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
229 views

Bragg reflected electrons

Could you explain how does bragg reflection happen for electrons? What does it mean that when they satisfy Laue condition? This already is asked in Physics SE. They are Bragg reflected in the opposite ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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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 -...
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Could you please suggest physics textbooks that discuss object velocity and image velocity pertaining to spherical and plane mirrors?

I have seen texts such as Zemansky's University Physics or Halliday Resnick's Physics (fundamentals and the older edition) etc. do not contain discussions on object velocity, image velocity (and their ...
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Can I use all 4 sides of a polarizing beamsplitter cube as inputs?

The polarizing beamsplitter cube on the following diagram splits non-polarized light in the input a into 2 orthogonal polarizations: p-polarized light is transmitted into the output c while s-...
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What's the reflectance of common white objects

Let's say I have a point light source which emits in the range 440nm-630nm uniformly distributed light on a recently polar white painted wall or a piece of office paper. What's the reflectance in ...
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1 vote
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Total Internal reflection and law of reflection

Does the 2nd law of reflection (i.e angle of incidence equal to angle of reflection) holds for total internal reflection?
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1 vote
2 answers
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Why is the number of light rays refracted from a transparent media more than the number of reflected rays?

I came across a question related to the multiple image formation from a thick mirror due to partial refraction and reflection. It was asked that which image would be the most intense? In the solution ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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How do you model transparent materials like light guides if transmittance is 90% for 0.5mm of sheet glass but 0.3db/km for fiber optics?

I am trying to model a light guide (using a commercial tool - Synopsys Lighttools). I am getting very low transmittance using glasses in the material library, on the order of 40% loss in the visible ...
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