Remission (physics)

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In physics, remission (from Latin remittere to send back) is the diffuse (non-directional) reflection of waves, especially light, in contrast to regular directional reflection, which fulfills the law of reflection . In both cases, however, the term reflection is used more often. A distinction is then made between specular and diffuse reflection .

The surface-related measure of remission is the degree of remission . The ratio of remitted to radiated energy in percent is called the albedo value.

Remission of light

Absorption of the blue part of light when reflected by a yellow body
Absorption of the red light component when transmitted through a cyan-blue filter

In optics and reproduction technology , one speaks of remission when a body absorbs part of the light spectrum ( opacity ) and transmits part of the spectrum (transparent media) or reflects (opaque media).

For example, if you take a yellow body and irradiate it with daylight that encompasses the entire light spectrum, it emits or reflects the red and green light components, but absorbs the blue component. The body appears yellow through the addition of the reflected red and green light components.

Another example is color filters . These filters usually consist of colored glass and only transmit certain color components, so they are only permeable to these spectral components and absorb the remaining spectrum. For a cyan-colored filter this means that it only lets through the green and blue color components of (white) daylight and filters the red component.


  • Hans Breuer, Rosemarie Breuer (illustrations): dtv-Lexikon der Physik , 2 volumes. dtv, Munich 1971, Article Remission , ISBN 3-423-03226-X (Volume 1) / ISBN 3-423-03227-8 (Volume 2).
  • Lutz Damerow: Remission Behavior of Apples, Berlin 1991, DNB 921043945 (Dissertation Humboldt University Berlin 1991, 106 pages).

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