Chronology Current Month Current Thread Current Date
[Year List] [Month List (current year)] [Date Index] [Thread Index] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Prev] [Date Next]

Re: [Phys-l] Transparency

I thank Brian, poet, Whatcott for his reply.

I cross posted to verify the correctness of my transparency / absorption Drude summary.

Note the quote from the referenced web page:

"This progression from ordered to random organization is the primary reason that light can pass through liquids and gases. Just like bricks stacked neatly on top of one another, the ordered molecules of most solids are virtually impenetrable to light waves. Depending on the substance, the light waves will be reflected, scattered, absorbed or, more likely, some combination of the three. But as the substance changes to liquid or gas and the molecules are not stacked neatly anymore, gaps and holes occur that allow portions of the light waves to pass through. The greater the randomness of the molecular organization of the substance, the easier it is for the light to pass through."

However, at least one counter example class exists to the above claim in how stuff works regarding randomness and transparency.

Fused quartz and crystalline quartz are both quite transparent -- so also the same for many salt single crystals, e.g. alkaline and alkaline earth halides.

bc wonders if he's missing something.

p.s. I'm a bit suspicious of the page's reason for quenching transparency. Rock candy is transparent and quite ordered.

On 2008, Oct 09, , at 09:26, Brian Whatcott wrote:

bc commented on truth in model explanations....

Truth is a difficult issue - seen through a glass, dimly.
Truthiness is the province of politicians, who inhabit the
sharp edge of that envelope.

How Stuff Works has a very usable model of transparency:
linking plastic, glass and candy.


Brian Whatcott Altus OK Eureka!

Forum for Physics Educators