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How is a MIRROR Without a Coating Handled?

Question: I have a MIRROR surface or object, but I have not defined a coating for it. How is its reflectivity accounted for?
 
Mark Nicholson
08/20/2015
Frequently Asked Questions
Sequential Ray Tracing
First Time Users
Polarization and Thin Film Coatings

How is a MIRROR Without a Coating Handled?

Question: I have a MIRROR surface or object, but I have not defined a coating for it. How is its reflectivity accounted for?

Answer: If a surface or object has the material type MIRROR, and no coating is specified, then the surface is assumed to be coated with a thick layer of aluminum, with an index of refraction 0.7 - 7.0i. The aluminum layer is assumed to be thick enough that no light propagates past the layer.

This means that an uncoated mirror surface has a reflectivity of less than 1, just as an uncoated refractive surface has a transmission of less than 1.