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Material Science and Metallurgy by U. C. Jindal

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21

Optical Properties of Materials

21.1 INTRODUCTION

You might have wondered why some materials are transparent while others are opaque, some surfaces are good reflectors while others absorb all incident light. The various phenomena of light’s interactions with materials fascinate us right throughout our lives and the sense of sight has been given the highest position among all other senses that we experience. However, light is only a narrow band of wavelengths that is sensitive to the human eye. The general name of such waves is electromagnetic waves and as the name suggests it contains two waves, an electric wave and a magnetic wave. Therefore, it is the whole spectrum of electromagnetic waves that is important as far as material science ...

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