Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: sound reflecting light

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 12/09/2010
In any way can sound reflect light or vice verse?
- Barrington Martin
reynoldsburg, Ohio U.S.A
Yes, sound waves change the density (or more generally, refractive index) of the material they're traveling in. Light waves diffract off that varying index of refraction. This is a standard process used in studying materials, called Brillouin scattering, The opposite process, sound bouncing off of light, tends to be too weak to be of much routine use.

Mike W.

(published on 12/09/2010)

Follow-up on this answer.