I have searched topics like reflection forum and I always seem to get different answers. I'm hoping to reconcile all of this, I've read FAQs, threads, wikipedia... To explain reflection I've heard these 3 explanations: 1) Light is absorbed by an atom, then re-emitted at a later time randomly. My problem with this is that the light must have the specific quantum energy, so this does not explain all reflection...though maybe some? Also the atom doesn't necessarily have to give up the absorbed photon later. 2) Light vibrates the atom as it passes *through* the atom, and thus the atom since it is electrically charged, when it vibrates it sends out a similar vibration, thus appearing to reflect. My problem with this is that perhaps this violates some sort of conservation of energy? Wouldn't this then mean that we have one outgoing photon that has done the vibrating of the atom, and then one reflected photon as a result, making two photons of the same energy (double the energy of what we had started with)? 3) The photon directed at an atom is not of the proper quantum energy, and thus the atom acts as an impenetrable shield and the photon is smacked like a billiard ball in a Snell's law sort of way (assuming the atom is bound). I realize this topic is starting to be beaten to death but really, if anyone has done searching on this topic I think you'd also see the explanations are often at odds with each other.