Visible light (~500 THz) and also gamma rays (~100 EHz) are electromagnetic radiation but we deserve to reflect visible light making use of a glass mirror yet not gamma rays. Why is that?



Look at the electromagnetic spectrum:

Visible frequencies have actually wavelengths of microns, $10^-6$ meters.

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Gamma rays have actually a wavelength of $10^-12$ meters, picometers.

In, there are two mainframes, the classic frame, which contains Maxwell"s electrodynamics, Newton"s mechanics, and also derivative theories, and also the quantum mechanical frame which becomes essential for little distances and high energies, wbelow gammas (photons), electrons, atoms, nucleons, lattices belengthy.

The timeless electromagnetic wave emerges from zillions of superposed photons. Maxwell"s equations describe exceptionally well the habits of light beams once scattering or mirroring or mainly communicating for macroscopic ranges and also small energies. Reflection, classically, demands a very level surchallenge so that the phases of the reflected waves are retained. Depfinishing on the product the timeless beams might be soaked up, decohered in showing from many type of point resources, or reflected coherently if the scattering is elastic (mirrors elastically and coherently scatter incoming light).

Gamma rays though force us to go to the micro level, bereason of the very small wavelength that defines them as a light beam.

One has to look at the details of the surconfront, and whether a classical smooth surchallenge for timeless reflections can be modelled for gammas, and the answer is, no it cannot.

The spacing in between atoms in many ordered solids is on the order of a few ångströms (a couple of tenths of a nanometer).

For micron wavelengths (optical light) the fields accumulated by atoms with angstrom ranges in the lattice show up smooth and also can be classically modelled.

Gamma rays taken into consideration as a timeless light beam, via their picometer wavelengths view mostly empty space between the atoms of the solid.

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An different analysis, still within the quantum frame, would certainly be considering the pholots which make up light, and also the Heisenberg uncertainty $ΔpΔx$ in the place of the photon. For the small wavelengths of gamma rays, the photons view greatly empty room.