# Light reflection without a surface

• poisant
In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of reflecting light without a surface, specifically in space. It is concluded that it is not possible to reflect light without a surface, but it may be possible to bend it with sufficient intensity. The discussion also includes a question about projecting a display into space and a reference to Tupac Shakur's holographic performance, which was achieved through a simple 2D projection on a sheet of mylar. The conversation ends with a reminder not to rely on movies for scientific breakthroughs.
poisant
Hello everyone,
this is my first post so bare with me...
I was searching the internet for light reflection and all other properties of light.Since we all know light requires a surface to reflect so that we see the objects.
Can we reflect the light in space without requiring a surface?

Reflection MEANS bouncing off of a surface, so no, you can't reflect without a surface.

Do you mean, perhaps, could we in some way turn light around without it touching anything? If so, I don't think so.

Light can be scattered in gases (or other materials), but that is not a real reflection.

If you send light towards a black hole in the right direction, it can turn around the black hole and come back to you, which is a bit like a reflection.

We can BEND light (for ex.bending of light due to stars or black holes) but can not REFLECT it without a surface.

Well till now I got the same answer.I agree that it's impossible to turn the light around.
But come on guys!
It's not about turing light without any surface,It's about "can I project the display into space not into the walls?"
So this is my actual query.
When I project an image why I always need a surface?

Light will continue in the same direction until something interferes with its path. Hence the sad impossibility of a light saber

You need something which reflects or bends light, right.
With sufficient intensity, you might be able to use air, but you cannot use space itself (=vacuum).

poisant said:
...
It's not about turing light without any surface,It's about "can I project the display into space not into the walls?

Your apparent belief that the statement above is somehow NOT about reflection just shows a lack of understanding of physics.

@phinds i used your words.anyways i agree i suffer lack of knowledge in physics.
Do anyone know about tupac shakur' holographic peformance.how they did it?
I mean how they managed to project it?
There are many other videos as well

According to this article, it was a simple 2D projection on a sheet of mylar.

poisant said:
@phinds i used your words.anyways i agree i suffer lack of knowledge in physics.
Do anyone know about tupac shakur' holographic peformance.how they did it?
I mean how they managed to project it?
There are many other videos as well

mfb said:
According to this article, it was a simple 2D projection on a sheet of mylar.

In other words, don't look to videos or movies for breakthroughs in science! I am reminded of when, after a James Bond movie, in which Bond to put a little device to his lips in order to swim under water, a Royal Navy officer contacted the studio asking how long a person could stay underwater with that device.

The response: about as long as he can hold his breath!

## 1. How is light reflected without a surface?

Light can be reflected without a surface through a process called total internal reflection. This occurs when light travels through a medium and reaches an interface with a less dense medium at a certain angle, causing the light to bounce back and continue traveling through the original medium.

## 2. What are some examples of light reflection without a surface?

A common example of light reflection without a surface is a mirage, where light from the sky is reflected by hot air near the ground, creating the illusion of water. Another example is fiber optic cables, where light is reflected internally to transmit data.

## 3. How is the angle of incidence related to light reflection without a surface?

The angle of incidence, or the angle at which light hits a medium, is crucial in determining whether light will be reflected without a surface. For total internal reflection to occur, the angle of incidence must be greater than the critical angle, which is dependent on the refractive indices of the two mediums.

## 4. Can light reflection without a surface be controlled?

Yes, light reflection without a surface can be controlled through the use of materials with different refractive indices, such as in fiber optic cables. By manipulating the angle of incidence and the refractive indices of the mediums, the amount of light reflected without a surface can be adjusted.

## 5. How does light reflection without a surface impact everyday life?

Light reflection without a surface plays a significant role in various technologies, such as fiber optics, which enables high-speed communication. It also allows for the creation of visual effects like mirages and contributes to the formation of rainbows. Understanding this phenomenon can also help in designing more efficient and advanced optical devices.

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