The Heavens Declare His Handiwork

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Thomas Lee Abshier, ND

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Photon Scattering
By: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND

Photon Scattering occurs when a photon impacts a material object with an irregular surface (multiple non-parallel faces).  The angle of incidence is therefore varied dependent upon the point of impact; as a result the incident photons will be reflected in many different angles as a result of the varied angles of incidence.  A white object reflects and scatters all frequencies of light.  A black object absorbs photons of all energies.  The colored object absorbs all frequencies except the photons of the frequency seen as the characteristic color of the object.  Clear transparent objects allow photons to pass through unabsorbed.  Colored transparent objects allow photons of a particular color to go through and absorb the other colors.   

In black materials, the photons in the visible energy range are captured by electron orbitals and raised to higher energies, but not re-radiated with photons in the visible energy range.  Rather, black objects re-radiate the energy stored in the activated orbital in smaller energy increments, which correspond to infrared wavelengths.  Thus, a black object will feel hot after lying in the sun (after absorbing visible energy photons).  The infrared photons can be reabsorbed by atomic orbitals, or the photon can transfer its angular momentum to a translational movement of an atom.  The collision of an atom with other atoms in a solid, liquid, or gas will transfer some momentum to other atoms.  The collisions and recoils produce a vibrational movement in atoms and molecules the solid, liquid, and gas atoms.