Week 21: Light

Reflection of LIGHT is either specular (mirror-like) or diffuse (retaining the energy, but losing the image), depending on the nature of the interface. Furthermore, if the interface is between a dielectric and a conductor, the phase of the reflected wave is retained, otherwise if the interface is between two dielectrics, the phase may be retained or inverted, depending on the indices of refraction. Specular reflection forms images. Reflection from a flat surface forms a mirror image, which appears to be reversed from left to right because we compare the image we see to what we would see if we were rotated into the position of the image.

This red Christmas ornament, suspended from a boat at the Sarasota Yacht Club, is an example of specular reflection at a curved surface. A specular reflection at a curved surface forms an image that may be magnified or demagnified. Glad you asked. Class dismissed.

FB Red Ball

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