Principle of reversibility

1. Nov 15, 2008

Kathi201

Does the principle of optical reversibility hold for reflection as well as refraction?

2. Nov 15, 2008

phz

If i understand your question right, I would say the answer is yes. Do you mean that a beam would take the same path but in reverse direction if it came from the other "side"? The trigonometry makes the problems symmetric and thus the answer yes.

There are breaks in symmetry concerning the intensities of the beams though, but the pure geometrical optics is the same.