Originally posted by twhitehead
No, I most definitely do not know all that. In fact, it can't possibly be true can it? References?
If it were true then:
1. Why would the photons be emitted in the exact opposite direction from which they were absorbed?
2. How do the photons manage to maintain their quantum entanglement throughout this process? eg. the two slit experiment works in ai ific wavelengths of light. So why aren't these photons also emitted in specific wavelengths?
When light reaches glass, or water, or some quartz crystal, some of it gets reflected, but the bulk of it enters the material along a trajectory that is bent to a degree directly proportional to the refractive index. I assume, though I could be wrong, that a transparent substance is transparent precisely because it allows photons in the visible spectrum to pass through along a straight line with minimal scattering. The photons will be continually getting absorbed by electrons along the way (the sense in which light "slows down" by virtue of having a punctuated existence), but quickly are emitted again along their original path.
The only instance I can think of (in the realm of optics) in which photons are sent off in the opposite direction from whence they came is in the instance when they impinge a reflective surface at a ninety degree angle.
It is true, I believe, that photons can only be absorbed by the electrons of a given atom only if they have the right energy level (or wavelength -- same difference).
Concerning how photons are reflected, I'm not sure. I think it occurs when an electron impinges an atom with the incorrect energy. My guess is that reflection is not something that occurs in an absorption/emission scenario, but one of the mainstays of modern physics has lately been to find pathological exceptions to every rule so I wouldn't bet my life on it.