What determines how light is reflected

  • Thread starter Sea Cow
  • Start date
  • #1
Sea Cow

Main Question or Discussion Point

What is it exactly about a surface that makes it reflect or absorb some or all wavelengths of light?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
35,469
4,236
What is it exactly about a surface that makes it reflect or absorb some or all wavelengths of light?
1. the presence of conduction electrons
2. the nature of the phonon modes in the material

Zz.
 
  • #3
Andy Resnick
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
7,352
1,793
Alternatively, the index of refraction.
 
  • #4
Sea Cow
1. the presence of conduction electrons
2. the nature of the phonon modes in the material

Zz.
Forgive me if I am being thick, but could you explain point 2. more? What is it about the phonon modes? For instance, if a surface just reflects a particular colour, is that because the phonon vibrates at the same frequency as that colour? If so, how does that stop the light from being absorbed?

Thankyou for your patience.
 

Related Threads for: What determines how light is reflected

Replies
20
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
540
Replies
2
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
5K
Replies
1
Views
11K
Top