Explaining the Sun's Effects on Rough Surfaces Covered in Water

In summary, the roughness of an object's surface can affect its appearance in sunlight when covered by water. This is due to the polarization and reflection of light, as well as the angle of incidence and refraction. The coating of water on the surface causes more light to be reflected off of it, instead of being scattered in various directions.
  • #1
azatkgz
186
0
Rough (not smooth) surfaces often appear to be darker in sunlight when they are covered by water.How can we explain this physical phenomen?
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
I'm no expert in this by any means, but I suspect that it's due to polarization of the light coming back from the water.
 
  • #3
Can it be total internal reflection.In this case light cannot go out from the liquid.
 
  • #4
Not total, or you would see nothing at all. Honestly, though, wait for someone with appropriate knowledge to help you. I'm not qualified. I just guessed at the polarization because a very long time ago when I wore Polaroid sunglasses, a puddle on a sidewalk looked to be a couple of miles deep. Without the glasses, it was just a puddle.
 
  • #5
First off you will have some of the light reflected off the surface so not all the light makes if through the water to the object.
Then some of the light is also reflected back into the water when it encounters the boundary again on its way out.
You will also have some of the light absorbed by the denser medium.

At least the would be my guess.

This would be true for both smooth and rough objects though.
Maybe it has to do with the angle of incidence and the angle of refraction.
 
Last edited:
  • #6
The effect has more to do with the fact that by coating the object with water, a good deal of light is reflected off the surface, instead of being scattered in random directions by the rough, dry surface.
 

Related to Explaining the Sun's Effects on Rough Surfaces Covered in Water

1. How does the sun's radiation affect the temperature of water on a rough surface?

The sun's radiation, or solar energy, is absorbed by the water molecules on the surface of the rough surface. This absorption causes the water molecules to gain energy and vibrate faster, resulting in an increase in temperature. The rough surface also plays a role in this process, as it provides more surface area for the water molecules to absorb the sun's radiation.

2. Does the roughness of the surface impact the amount of sun's radiation that is absorbed by the water?

Yes, the roughness of the surface does impact the amount of sun's radiation that is absorbed by the water. A rough surface has more irregularities and variations in height, which can create shadows and pockets where the sun's radiation may not reach the water molecules. This can result in uneven heating and may affect the overall temperature of the water on the surface.

3. Can the sun's effects on a rough surface covered in water cause changes in weather patterns?

Yes, the sun's effects on a rough surface covered in water can contribute to changes in weather patterns. The absorption of solar energy by the water molecules can lead to evaporation, which can then contribute to cloud formation and precipitation. Additionally, the heating of the water can also impact air temperature and pressure, which can also affect weather patterns.

4. How does the sun's radiation impact the transparency of water on a rough surface?

The sun's radiation can impact the transparency of water on a rough surface in a few ways. First, the heating of the water can cause it to become less transparent, as warmer water tends to have more suspended particles and microorganisms. Additionally, the rough surface itself may also have sediment, debris, or algae that can impact the transparency of the water when exposed to the sun's radiation.

5. Can the sun's effects on rough surfaces covered in water impact aquatic life?

Yes, the sun's effects on rough surfaces covered in water can have an impact on aquatic life. The changes in temperature, transparency, and weather patterns can all have an effect on the ecosystem and the organisms living in the water. For example, changes in water temperature can impact the metabolism and behavior of aquatic animals, while changes in transparency can affect photosynthesis for aquatic plants.

Similar threads

Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Thermodynamics
Replies
14
Views
1K
  • Classical Physics
Replies
3
Views
901
  • Biology and Medical
Replies
2
Views
972
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
4
Views
930
  • Classical Physics
Replies
1
Views
745
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
6
Views
418
Replies
40
Views
3K
Replies
11
Views
2K
Back
Top