How does the reflection of light work?

• 2sin54
In summary, The process of reflection involves light bouncing off a surface, similar to how a ball bounces off a wall. This is due to the behavior of photons, which are particles of light. The frequency of a photon determines its energy and color, and when it hits an object, it can either be absorbed or reflected. Excited electrons can also play a role in the reflection process. For more information, you can refer to the article on reflection in physics.
2sin54
Hello. How does light get reflected? Do photons act like balls which bounce off a surface? If I shoot a single photon which has a frequency of an orange color, and that photon hits a tomato, it should get absorbed, right?
What if it hits an orange? Will it bounce off an atom? How does that bouncing work? Do excited electrons play their role in here?

Gytax said:
Hello. How does light get reflected? Do photons act like balls which bounce off a surface? If I shoot a single photon which has a frequency of an orange color, and that photon hits a tomato, it should get absorbed, right?
What if it hits an orange? Will it bounce off an atom? How does that bouncing work? Do excited electrons play their role in here?

I didn't understand it until I read Richard Feynman's book QED. It is not at all obvious.

1. How does light reflect off of surfaces?

When light strikes a surface, it can be either reflected, absorbed, or transmitted. Reflection occurs when the light bounces off the surface at the same angle at which it arrived.

2. Why do different surfaces reflect light differently?

The way light reflects off a surface depends on the properties of the surface, such as its texture, color, and angle. Smooth and shiny surfaces reflect light more uniformly, while rough and dark surfaces may absorb more light.

3. What is the law of reflection?

The law of reflection states that the angle of incidence (incoming light) is equal to the angle of reflection (reflected light). This means that the reflected light will bounce off the surface at the same angle at which it arrived.

4. How does the angle of incidence affect reflection?

The angle of incidence determines the angle at which the light will be reflected off the surface. If the angle of incidence is parallel to the surface, the light will be reflected back in the same direction. If the angle is perpendicular, the light will be reflected straight back.

5. Can light be reflected multiple times?

Yes, light can be reflected multiple times, depending on the number of surfaces it encounters. For example, in a mirror maze, light can be reflected multiple times between the mirrors, creating an illusion of endless reflections.

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