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More Optics

Traveling Light

'Tis said that light travels in straight lines. 'Tis true, but that rule is honored more in the breach than in the observance. There are many ways to leave the straight and narrow. The line between me and the sun curved at sunrise and sunset. The same goes for the moon, when it sinks below the horizon and remains visible a while longer. Light turns sharply as it goes through my window, and again when it enters my eye. That fish in the lake is not where he seems to be, and the soda straw is not really bent.

We drive along a blacktop road, but it reflects sky light. At such an angle it reflects half of the light that strikes it. The other half is absorbed in the asphalt. A poor photon in the wrong half says, "why me?"

You see, all of the neg-pos in a photon is on one plane. An ordinary light source sends out photons whose planes are in all orientations. Some photons have planes that are somewhat horizontal. Others have planes that are more like vertical.

Those photons whose planes are nearly vertical, will have one of the charges hitting the road an instant sooner than its partner charge. The one that hits first is stopped, while the other charge is caused to trip, and crash.

Those photons whose planes are nearly parallel to the roadway, strike the ground with neg and pos at the same time, causing the photon to bounce. Since there is no transfer of neg-pos from the photon to the ground, there is no alteration of the energy of the photon, so it bounces on an angle exactly equal to the angle of incidence.

If anything other than a neg-pos pair bounces, it gains or loses energy, depending on which party to the collision is more stubborn. The party that gains the energy, receives neg-pos from the loser. A neg-pos pair is incapable of gaining or receiving anyhing smaller than itself, because there is nothing smaller. That is why a moving neg-pos pair is always traveling at the speed of light.

We digressed while the photon bounced. All the reflected photons have planes that are nearly parallel to the ground. That is polarized light, and the ground was its polarizer. That is why some drivers wear glasses that are polarized with planes that are vertical. The horizontally polarized glare can't pass through those glasses.

Look across any table top. The smaller the angle between your line of sight and the surface, the more reflection you see.

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