Is it possible to melt a perfect mirror by radiative means? (reflects light of all frequencies with no absorption) Which leads me to ask. What is the mechanism (at the atomic level), for the reflection of light? I've never had a satisfactory answer on the mechanism of reflection. Is it necessary for the atoms to firstly absorb the incoming photon, and then re-emit it? If so, what makes it make sure that the re-emitted light is identical to the incoming?