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Reflecting light

  1. Oct 24, 2010 #1
    is it possible to have a surface designed in such a way that ,when it is struck by a ray of light , the reflected light (fort he sake of example) takes a horizontal direction.
    My idea is that the light would propagate in a plane which would be more or less parallel to the plane of the surface that the light had struck..
    I am not asking whether it is possible to direct the beam in a parallel direction to any given surface bit if it can be done to the actual surface it has impacted .

    If it had struck a tile the roof of a house ,for example, could the slate be so designed (or painted) as to reflect the light in the direction of the adjoining slates instead of the angle of incidence that I learned about in school?

    I realise that this sounds impossible but ,with so much changing in physics over the years I wonder if this could actually be done.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2010 #2
    thanks for that.
    (I do wonder if my level of ignorance in this area has reached its own particular critical threshold!)
    Upon inspecting your link I can now see that what I was looking for is easily possible .
    Is it possible to also arrange the surface so that a ray of light arriving at the critical angle might propagate not only tangentially to the surface but also a bit like you might see if you cast a pebble in the water -ie if you were throwing a dart at a dart board (as an analogy to the ray of light ) could the dart be thrown at the bull's eye (at the critical angle of course) and then be deflected to any (or all) of the numbers ? or ,ideally just to the area between due South and due East (or any particular area you happened to want)
    I imagine a rabbit's warren of optical fibres might do the trick but would that be overkill ?
    Can it be done at all simply?
    Would the surface need to be tracking the sun all the while?
  4. Oct 25, 2010 #3
    Where's my post?

    geordief seems to have read it but where is it now?
  5. Oct 25, 2010 #4
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
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