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Testing a Mechanical Behavior of Light Reflection

Luiz Eduardo Azambuja Sauerbronn
Year: 2013 Pages: 5
Keywords: Rigid Bodies, Collisions, Light, Reflection, Quantum decay

The goal of this work is to study the behavior of light reflection and provide a mechanical resemblance of this behavior. In a laboratory , we measured the time spent from the launch of a pulse of photons and their return to the location of the emitted pulse, after colliding against the surface of an atom. In the numerical analysis, we modeled photons and atoms as being spherical and non-homogeneous rigid bodies. Due to the non-uniform internal mass distribution, the centroid and the center of mass of the photons will be shifted. While the center of mass tends to describe a straight line, the centroid tends to describe a cycloid rotating towards the center of mass. Due to the rotation of the photon, its time of return varies. The numerical results indicate times of return relatively similar to those achieved by experimental results.