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Why the glass deflects light?

  1. Sep 23, 2007 #1
    Sorry for misconception. Why the mirror deflects light was the question? Because of the electronic configuration and how?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2007 #2
    I think a lot of math need to be done to answer your question. But qualitatively, if you take in to account that light behaves like particle and abide by the mechanical equation of collision, and treat the surface atoms of the reflection material as rigid balls, you will get it quickly, though less rigorously.
     
  4. Sep 23, 2007 #3
    all interfaces reflect, glass too. mirrors just reflect most of the energy where as glass doesn't
     
  5. Sep 23, 2007 #4
    When the photon of light strikes any surface, it will be absorbed by the atoms of that surface, and then those atoms will release new photons. Those newly created photons is what appears to be the reflected light.
     
  6. Sep 24, 2007 #5

    FredGarvin

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    You're right. I think I remember that plain glass has a reflection of around 4%. I'll have to see if I can dig that up.
     
  7. Sep 24, 2007 #6

    Doc Al

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    That's about right. Assuming normal incidence and an index of refraction of about 1.5, you'll get about 4% reflection.
     
  8. Sep 24, 2007 #7
    I though tha glass only refracts and mildly reflects light. Could you educate me?
     
  9. Sep 24, 2007 #8

    Doc Al

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    I'd say that 4% reflected is mild compared to 96% transmitted.
     
  10. Sep 25, 2007 #9
    All of this is covered in detail in Feynman's sustained flight of genius, QED. He actually derives most of these effects quantitatively, in a popular science book! Feynman leaves Stephen Hawking panting by the roadside.

    Molu
     
  11. Sep 25, 2007 #10
    So, where does 'deflect' come into play?
     
  12. Nov 23, 2007 #11
    but if the atom absorbs the energy and the re-emits it at the same frequency, why does it re-emit in one direction. For example, take a perfect reflection mirror - the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection. How can this be explained on the atomic level?
     
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