Why are electromagnetic waves reflected well from the surfaces of metal bodies and weakly reflected from the surfaces of bodies made of dielectrics?
The ability of metals to reflect electromagnetic waves well is explained by the fact that when an electromagnetic wave falls on the surface of a metal, forced oscillations of free electrons are excited in it under the action of an alternating electric field. The oscillation frequency of the electrons is equal to the frequency of the electromagnetic wave. All the energy of the incident electromagnetic wave is spent on exciting the forced oscillations of electrons in metals, so electromagnetic waves do not pass through metal objects, but are reflected from them. In dielectrics, bound electrons vibrate under the action of an electromagnetic wave. The amplitude of forced vibrations of bound electrons in a dielectric is much less than the amplitude of vibrations of conduction electrons in metals, therefore, reflection from dielectrics is not very effective.
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