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| Re: silly inverse square law question. |
we know that the light reflected from that reflector drops with intensity.
This is not true (physics).
A single reflected photon carries its reflected energy (conservation of energy) in a straight line until it is acted upon by another outside force.
What is true is that a reflector changes the direction of the multiple photons that are striking it (and subsequent distribution pattern thereby created).
If those photons are being divergently reflected, their concentration will diminish for a given area at increasing distance, iaw the trigonometric functions of the angles at which they are traveling.
Conversely if those photons are being convergently reflected, their concentration will increase for a given area at a given distance, until they reach the "cross-over" point at which they will then be on divergent paths. This can be seen with things like magnifying glass, parabolic mirrors, etc. which also is responsible for why an image changes from inverted to normal on either side of the convergent / divergent crossover point.
Thirdly, if those photons are collimated into parallel distribution paths, their concentration for a given area will remain constant at any distance.
The directions of the multitudes of photons will reflect iaw, AI=AR, with real world application being that a variable number of AI's (family of angles) strike a variable number of surface angles to generate a variable number of AR's. Only those that are within the realm of the "family of angles" will reach our camera.
Please note ... there is difference between the practical observation of that which we have come to accept and frequently apply vs.the actual physics taking place.