why silver atoms reflect light? why they don't refract it, like the Huygens's principle says?
marlon said:Well, you need to go quite deep to get the full understanding here.
In short, your answer would be "plasmons" :)
The conduction electrons in the metal will start to vibrate longitudinally as a response to the incident EM-radiation (ie the electrons will move back and forth, as a reaction to the incident oscillating electrical field). It is this oscillation of conduction electrons that gives rise to the phase shifted reflected light of a conductor.
The plasma frequence is that frequence above which the electrons can no longer 'follow' the oscillating incident E-field. This kinda means that the E field is vibrating too fast and the electrons cannot respond anymore to that motion. If this happens, the E field (thus light as well) will no longer be reflected but it will pass through the medium.
Plasmons are the particles (well quasi particles actually) that are associated with the longitudinal waves of the conduction electrons in a metal that has been submitted to incident EM-radiation.
Hope that helps,
Physicsissuef said:Isn't the property of reflection of the mirrors, is result of the silver atoms? Are the EM waves released from the atoms, are released in whole directions?
They absorb the energy, and re-emit it? Do they release the waves in whole directions, like in the Huygen's principle?marlon said:What atoms are you talking about ? You don't need to consider atoms individually here. We are talking about metals for example : metals are many particle systems, many atoms interacting with each other. Such systems have different properties like conduction and valence bands which you will not find in the case of individual atoms !
Basically, metals reflect incident light because of the interaction between the light and the conduction electrons inside the conduction band ! That is what i am talking about.
You really should look things up first. Silver has the highest conductance of any metal, with more than 6 times the conductivity of iron. Nobody uses iron wiring in their house. It is illegal to do so in many places! We use copper instead. Copper has a conductivity close to that of silver but costs a lot less than silver.Yoni said:And I think the question remains, what in the silver metal plate exactly makes it a better reflective metal than, say iron? It is not a better conductor metal I think,
D H said:You really should look things up first. Silver has the highest conductance of any metal, with more than 6 times the conductivity of iron. Nobody uses iron wiring in their house. It is illegal to do so in many places! We use copper instead. Copper has a conductivity close to that of silver but costs a lot less than silver.
Silver atoms reflect light because of their unique atomic structure. The outermost electrons of silver atoms are loosely bound, allowing them to easily interact with incoming light waves. When light hits a silver atom, the electrons absorb the energy and then quickly release it, causing the light to reflect off the atom's surface.
Silver is one of the most reflective elements, with an average reflectivity of 95%. This is due to its high atomic number and the arrangement of its electrons, which make it highly efficient at reflecting light. In comparison, other elements such as copper and gold have lower reflectivity values.
Yes, the reflectivity of silver atoms can be affected by their surroundings. When silver is in a pure, smooth form, it reflects light with very little absorption. However, when silver is exposed to impurities or is in a rough, oxidized state, its reflectivity can decrease.
Silver atoms have a broad range of reflectivity, meaning they can reflect light of all wavelengths. However, the amount of light reflected may vary depending on the wavelength and the properties of the silver surface.
The high reflectivity of silver atoms makes them useful in various everyday applications. Silver is commonly used in mirrors, solar panels, and reflective coatings for glass and other materials. It is also used in photography and technology, such as in CDs and DVDs, due to its reflective properties.