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Old 1st October 2008, 06:13 AM   #74
John Bentley
Critical Thinker
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 447
One other thing that no one here has mentioned. And it could be that my understanding of it is completely wrong, but I was under the impression that there is technically no such thing as a "reflected" photon. I'm using the common understanding of reflection as that of something bouncing off of something else and going on its way unchanged. All photons are absorbed by whatever mass they encounter, excite electrons, and different photons are emitted when those excited electrons fall back to a less excited state. If the photon that is emitted is the same wavelength as the original photon, and is directed back toward the emitter of the original photon, then the mass appears "shiny" or "reflective".

Have I completely misunderstood Feynman's lectures?
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The trouble with parenting is that the years are short, but the days are long -- Baby Blues
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