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Why objects reflect light instead of absorbing or transmitti

  1. Mar 2, 2015 #1
    So I've searched all over the internet for an explanation as to why when light of a certain wavelength hits an object, it absorbs it or reflects it. The best answer I've found is some light is absorbed and turned into heat, some is absorbed and re-emitted in the same direction (transmitted) and some is absorbed and emitted at an angle (reflected). My question is when light hits an object, what determines whether or not it is re-emitted and what determines which direction it is emitted in.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2015 #2

    CWatters

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