Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Visibility of No Reflection
Name: Brian F.
Status: student
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 7/17/2003


Question:
Is an object that reflects no light whatsoever visible?


Replies:
Brian,

It all depends on what was surrounding it. If you put your black sphere near something that does reflect light (at various random wavelengths) you will surely see the sphere. You would see the sphere because it would block light waves that are being reflected from other materials that DO EMIT LIGHT.

Your eyes / brain would detect that it was, in fact, there since it is hindering other 'emissive materials' that are trying to get their light reflections to your eyes. My assumptions here are that your "sphere" has 0% light reflectance therefore it must have 100% light absorbance.

Darin Wagner



Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory