Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What about a material causes it to be shiny

  1. Sep 27, 2015 #1
    what about a material causes it to be shiny and reflect light. would it be reflecting 100% of the photos when the material looks bright white i.e. shiny.

    what about the atoms in the material causes the material to be shiny?

    can any material be shiny?

    why do shiny objects the part that is shiny only shine in a small portion. why does not the holy object not just look bright white (shiny), why only a small part at a certain angle?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2015 #2

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Whether an image is formed (specular reflection) versus a diffuse reflection is a different question than the colour of the reflected light.

    Not an atomic scale, at a microscopic scale - on the order of wavelengths of light.

    Here's Wiki's short description on diffuse versus specular reflection:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffuse_reflection#Specular_vs._diffuse_reflection
     
  4. Sep 28, 2015 #3

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    It seems you are referring to 'specular reflection', as opposed to 'diffuse reflection'. These properties are typically due to the surface geometry: smooth, rough, striated, etc. As for the spectral content of reflected/scattered light, it depends on the refractive index, which is determined by the electrical/chemical properties of the material. Snow, for example, is highly reflective for visible light and absorptive for infrared light.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: What about a material causes it to be shiny
  1. What causes this? (Replies: 1)

Loading...