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Huygen's principle

  1. Feb 14, 2008 #1
    I want to know, when there is diffraction or refraction of light, are the atoms inside of the material releasing also waves in whole directions, like on this pictures:
    Picture 1 and Picture 2
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2008 #2

    Claude Bile

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    It is not atoms that release the wavelets, it's the wavefront itself.

    Claude.
     
  4. Feb 15, 2008 #3
    Do the lattice atoms from inside of the material release waves?
     
  5. Feb 17, 2008 #4
    Anybody know?
     
  6. Feb 17, 2008 #5

    Claude Bile

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    Assuming that, by "release" you mean "emit"....

    Any atom can emit waves through spontaneous or stimulated emission.

    If, however a wave passes through a transparent medium, then it is incorrect (or, at best, misleading) to say that the atoms within the medium have "emitted" a wave.

    Claude.
     
  7. Feb 18, 2008 #6
    But Huygen's principle can't explain what happens in the inner structure of the material, when there is transparent medium.
    Is in mirrors, have total reflection, aren't there any refraction?
     
  8. Mar 29, 2008 #7
    With a mirror there is no refraction. It is completely refecting what hit it. I'm sure some energy gets absorbed in the process.
     
  9. Mar 29, 2008 #8

    ZapperZ

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    I am having a bit of a problem understanding why you want to "merge" Huygen's principle with actual QM description of optical transport in matter (which you can learn from solid state/condensed matter physics, or in our FAQ). Huygen's principle, as we know it now, is more of a "phenomenological model" of classical optics. There are many aspects of such models that will simply not work when you try to incorporate atoms and matter into such things.

    Zz.
     
  10. Mar 29, 2008 #9
    Yes, I also thought that it is just one model for describing what happens when there is reflection or refraction. Anyway, I have read so many articles, is it light EM wave, particle or mixture of both?
     
  11. Mar 29, 2008 #10

    ZapperZ

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    Read our FAQ.

    Zz.
     
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