Activity › Discussion › Environment › Can light bend around corners? › Reply To: Can light bend around corners?
tanyaMemberJuly 2, 2021 at 8:55 pm::
Every science student knows that light travels in a straight line. But now, it has been proved by researchers that light can travel in a curve without any external influence. It is very well known for the fact that light bends. When the light rays travel from air to water, they take an explicit turn. For instance, a stick dipped into water appears to tilt more towards the surface. Whereas, when in space, light rays passing near massive objects, it is observed that light travels in curves. For each of these examples, there are different reasons for light traveling in different positions. For water, it is due to the change in the optical property of air and water, called the refractive index. While for space, it is due to the nature of gravity.
The amount of light that bends around any surface or corner depends on the exact situation. For visible light, the amount of light that bends around corners is negligible if seen by naked eyes. The ability of light to bend around corners is called diffraction.
Light travels way differently than it is shown in ray diagrams. The ray diagram showing the beam of light rays traveling in a straight line is a bit over-simplified. In reality, there are many procedures that run behind that concept. Light is always waving against itself, leading to the generation of internal interference of different wave elements. And that is what we call internal diffraction. Diffraction causes a beam of light to slowly spread out as it progresses so that a part of light bends away from the straight-line motion of the light rays. Some of the light rays may turn away from the forward direction, which is a form of bending around corners, even though there is no corner!