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Light reflection without a surface

  1. Dec 28, 2012 #1
    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?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2012 #2

    phinds

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    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.
     
  4. Dec 28, 2012 #3

    mfb

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    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.
     
  5. Dec 28, 2012 #4
    We can BEND light (for ex.bending of light due to stars or black holes) but can not REFLECT it without a surface.
     
  6. Dec 28, 2012 #5
    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?
     
  7. Dec 28, 2012 #6
    Light will continue in the same direction until something interferes with its path. Hence the sad impossibility of a light saber
     
  8. Dec 28, 2012 #7

    mfb

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    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).
     
  9. Dec 28, 2012 #8

    phinds

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    Your apparent belief that the statement above is somehow NOT about reflection just shows a lack of understanding of physics.
     
  10. Dec 29, 2012 #9
    @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
     
  11. Dec 29, 2012 #10

    mfb

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    According to this article, it was a simple 2D projection on a sheet of mylar.
     
  12. Dec 29, 2012 #11

    HallsofIvy

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    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!
     
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