Diffusion

Diffusion refers to spreading something more widely.  When light undergoes diffusion it becomes less concentrated and spreads out.

  • Diffusion results from any medium or material that scatters light during refraction, reflection or transmission.
  • Scattering takes place when streams of photons (or waves of light) are deflected in different directions.
  • All objects obey the law of reflection on a microscopic level. If the irregularities on the surface of an object are larger than the wavelength of light, the light undergoes diffusion.
  • Transparent and translucent materials transmit diffuse light unless their surfaces are perfectly flat and their interiors are free of any foreign material.
  • When diffuse light falls on an object or scene it produces softened effects without sharp detail.
  • A mirror-like reflection free of the effects of diffusion is called a specular reflection.