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Light in certain cases may be considered as a stream of particles called "photons". Each photon has a linear momentum hλ where h is the Planck's constant and λ is the wavelength of the light. A beam of light of wavelength λ is incident on a plane mirror at an angle of incidence θ. Calculate the change in the linear momentum of a photon as the beam is reflected by the mirror. 


  1. 2hλsinθ 

  2. 4hλsinθ 

  3. 4hλcosθ 

  4. 2hλcosθ 


Solution

The correct option is D

2hλcosθ 


The situation is depicted as shown in figure.


Clearly, Pt=hλsinθ^ihλcosθ^j 
                                        Pf=hλsinθ^i+hλcosθ^j
                                       ΔP=PfPt  
                                       ΔP=2hλcosθ^j 
                                        ΔP=2hλcosθ 
 
 

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