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Does reflection of light 'slow it down' ??

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posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 12:43 AM
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Was wondering about this reading other threads about light, and was wondering if the speed at which light travels slows down after reflecting off an object - even if its at a minuscule amount... I know the 'brightness' dissipates, but what about the speed at which it travels??

Thx




posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 03:53 PM
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generally if light travels though a denser object it will slow down but it will speed up again when it goes through a less dense median.



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 04:08 PM
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If you are curious, look into EXACTLY how prisms work.

en.wikipedia.org...(optics)



Light changes speed as it moves from one medium to another (for example, from air into the glass of the prism).


Then apply this logic to the electromagnetic spectrum. The entire spectrum, including radio waves, and microwaves, and x-rays, is considered "light". Except human's can only see this "light" when it is at a certain speed. The speed determines the color, from fast to slow.

Rainbows are a good example of light slowing down and changing colors in the process. Also, the fire from a lighter is a good example of particles speeding up and changing colors in the process.


en.wikipedia.org...


The color of the flame is dependent upon the energy level of the photons emitted. Lower energy levels produce colors toward the red end of the light spectrum while higher energy levels produce colors toward the blue end of the spectrum. The hottest flames are white in appearance.



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 06:15 PM
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Cheers! Thanks for letting me know, much appreciated, will do some more research


Thx



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 06:37 PM
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reply to post by Im a Marty
 

Depending upon the type of mirror you use, there might be some very small and negligible slow down as the light travels through glass substrate to the back of the silvering. Otherwise, the actual reflection of the light at the back of the glass is immeasurably quick.

The actual reflection is a quantum effect. The photon is absorbed by an atom, and a different, new photon is immediately reemitted.

Incidentally, transmission through a sheet of glass is also a quantum effect, or so I understand from this article here. That is, the photon stops at the glass boundary, and a different photon (corresponding to the first photon, but really a different photon) is emitted from the far side of the glass, after first being absorbed and reemitted by each atom in the glass.

The cumulation of the absorbtion and emmission delays for millions of atoms is what slows the light down.

Apparently, photons can only travel in a vacuum. When they hit matter, they turn to waves and are reemitted by the atoms back into the vacuum.

Hope this helps.



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