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How reflection and refraction of light are expressed at the particle level?

  1. Oct 13, 2015 #1
    How reflection and refraction of light expressed at the particles level ?
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2015 #2

    DEvens

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    See Feynman's book on QED.

    https://www.amazon.com/QED-Strange-Princeton-Science-Library/dp/0691164096/

    Basically, you have these waves. And they spread out from a source in all directions. And you see the result based on constructive or destructive interference. He works through several examples, with really quite lovely diagrams and easy (As easy as quantum mechanics gets!) descriptions.
     
  4. Oct 13, 2015 #3
    Thanks , do you know base on what the reflection and refraction angle created
    after photons hit the matter subatomic particles ?
     
  5. Oct 13, 2015 #4

    DEvens

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    Yes. As explained in the book, it is a little something like so. When a photon strikes an atom, etc., it is scattered in all directions. In some situations it is scattered with different intensity in some directions, or with differing polarization, depending on things such as relative motion of source and scattering object, and polarity of scattering object. The resulting observed situation again depends on constructive or destructive interference.

    Please read the book. All I could do would be to copy his wording and pictures. And that would be a waste of both our times.
     
  6. Oct 13, 2015 #5

    sophiecentaur

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    But the effect of a solid or liquid medium on the direction of light does not involve just one photon and one atom. IF you really want to discuss refraction in terms of photons, then you have to consider the interaction of individual photons with the whole structure. (i.e. you cannot talk in terms of a photon, like a little bullet, hitting a specific part of the surface; it has to be considered as if it could be everywhere over a large region. This is a good reason for solving such problems in terms of waves!! Neither approach is any more or less valid for describing EM radiation so why not choose the most convenient one?
     
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