Thread: Galileo Galilei
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Old 12-19-2015, 02:39 AM   #10
seamonkey
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Default Re: Galileo Galilei

The amount of power reflected is predicated off of material properties of the object being reflected in question. It has to do with the composition of the object, and it depends on what frequencies of light are converted into thermal energy (not heat), and which frequencies are reflected off of the object. Coincidentally this is how color works. Certain materials are very close to reflecting all light - they're used to reflect light into solar panels in order to use less solar panels.

Your second question is much harder to figure out. It has a bunch of factors - composition of the light in question, and how intense it is, and your eye, specifically its luminosity function. It turns out your eye sees light as more or less bright depending on it's frequency - even if the light is at the same intensity. This is why there's significant work put into computer monitors to adjust for this. Additionally there is the issue of intensity which varies over time and longitude. Angle of incidence is a pretty big deal - and is the reason we have seasons. Lastly there is of course the amount of atmosphere the light has to travel through to get to you which is important because of Raleigh scattering.
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