What happens to light when it hits something?


I could be way off base with my original assumption, but if light is shined in space it travels straight forward indefinitely (in theory). But if it is shined on something, it illuminates that object then goes away. So what happens to the light particles/energy. I hope this makes sense, I am struggling to find the words for my question.

Just wanted to throw in an edit and say thank you for the responses. It was very informative and I greatly appreciate that!

In: 10

Light will bounce off objects. It is the Light bouncing 9ff an object and then reaching your eyes that allows you to see the object. It can either bounce off the object fully and you see white, partially and you will see a colouror not at all and you will see black.

Light doesn’t go away when it illuminates an object, and you can tell because the object is illuminated.

What you’re seeing is diffuse reflection. Unlike a mirror that reflects light at the same angle it came in, most objects reflect light a bit in every direction. That’s why the object appears lit up no matter where you’re seeing it from, there’s always a bit of reflected light in the direction of your eye. It’s also why you don’t see an image like in a mirror, because you’re seeing a jumble of reflections of light that originally came from a bunch of different directions.

It’s either absorbed or reflected. If it is absorbed, it turns into a different form of energy or helps an atom move into a higher energy state. If reflected, it simply bounces off.

that light goes into your eye, and the energy of that light is used up by molecules in your eye cells to send a signal to your brain!

When light hits an item it shakes the atoms. The atoms shaking sometimes makes more light (nearly instantly) and you see it as reflected light. Sometimes the atoms shake other atoms or the shakes other parts of the same atom. When that happens the atom doesn’t make more light and the light is absorbed.