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I agree. Incidentally, the reference at the following link is surprisingly the only one I found that put experimental points on the Fresnel equations on a FLAT water surface!

I think it could be cited at the end of the sentence "That part of incident light that is reflected from a body of water is specular and is calculated by the Fresnel equations." Yet, the sentence should be changed to : "The specular portion of incident light reflected from a body of water is calculated by the Fresnel equations." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:09, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

water reflectance[edit]

Should the following be added? If so, where?

That part of incident light that is reflected from a body of water is specular and is calculated by the Fresnel equations. Fresnel reflection is directional and therefore does not contribute significantly to albedo which is primarily diffuse reflection. A graph showing the reflectivity of water vs. incident angle of can be seen at[1].

A real water surface may be wavy. Reflectance assuming a flat surface as given by the Fresnel equations can be adjusted to account for waviness. A formula and graph for correction for waviness for two different wave energy spectrum definitions exists. [1] 02:39, 11 August 2006 (UTC)


This is currently the Reflectivity and Reflectance article -- it should say so right at the top.- 11:49, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

I am inclined to delete this entire section and replace it with a more accurate definition of reflectance, unless somebody can provide a reference for where this definition of reflectance originates. Bulk reflectivity is not called reflectance any more than thin film reflectance is called reflectivity. They are two fundamentally different, albeit related quantities. In any case, I will provide the proper optical/physical definition of reflectivity and reflectance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nanoguitar (talkcontribs) 20:17, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

metal mirrors[edit]

Reflectance vs. wavelength curves for aluminium (Al), silver (Ag), and gold (Au) metal mirrors

This is a nice graph; might be nice to also have it in the mirror article. It would be of more general use if the bounds of visible light could be added.- 11:52, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

data needed[edit]

This article is a good theoretical start, but needs a lot more real-world data.

Please add typical range of total visible-light reflectivity for ordinary mirrors (80%?), white paper (up to at least 90%?), other ordinary white surfaces, and ordinary black surfaces. And spectral curves for all of those, too, from UV to IR, with the visible portion clearly marked.

And, links to great sources of such details.- 11:59, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Human eye[edit]

This seems to be the pure physics term/concept. In dealing with light, much of the terminology is weighted by the response of the human eye to different colors (Lumens, for example). What is the term for reflectance, weighted in the visible spectrum by the human visual response? It should be at least mentioned in this article, and linked to.- 11:26, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Photopic spectral responsivity (cf. Color vision#Physiology of color perception) --Adoniscik (talk) 00:19, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Reflectance Table[edit]

  • Colors
70-80% White
70-80% Light cream
55-65% Light yellow
45-50% Light green
45-50% Pink
40-45% Sky-blue
40-45% Light grey
25-35% Beige
25-35% Yellow ocher
25-35% Light brown
25-35% Olive green
20-25% Orange
20-25% Vermilion red
20-25% Medium grey
10-15% Dark green
10-15% Dark blue
10-15% Dark red
10-15% Dark grey
  • Materials
95% Mirror
80% Plaster
65-75% White enamel
60-75% Glazed white tiles
60% Maple
60% Birch
40% Light oak
15-20% Dark oak
15-20% Dark walnut
15-40% Concrete
5-25% Red brick
2-10% Carbon-black
6-8% Clear glass
  • Lighting design
60-90% Ideal Ceilings
35-60% Ideal Walls
30-50% Ideal Countertops

- 01:04, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Broken link[edit]

Link (1) is broken. (talk) 15:45, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Reflectivity units[edit]

I think the unit(s) of reflectivity must be mentioned. --Sylvestersteele (talk) 12:02, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Reflectivity is unitless. Stonemason89 (talk) 02:21, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

shiniest metal[edit]

i think i read somewhere that it's silver

but i think some other guys said it's rhodium

reflectivity is a function of frequency, we get that part

but if you have some standard light source, say sunlight at some place, then it's just a number —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:57, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Rhodium is not particularly shiny. Silver is the shiniest metal when averaged across the entire visible spectrum, but it is exceeded in some parts of the spectrum by tin and aluminum. Stonemason89 (talk) 17:01, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Reflectivity vs reflectance[edit]

I'm not convinced that the distinction made in this article between "reflectivity" and "reflectance" is universal. I don't doubt that some authors define the terms that way, but unless all do the article should be less strongly worded. --Srleffler (talk) 03:24, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Agreed; modified. Fgnievinski (talk) 20:39, 7 May 2015 (UTC)


This page is redirected from "absorptance", but doesn't mention it. It does say "see also absorptivity", but the absorptivity page just says absorptivity means absorptance, which redirects here. This page should at the very least give a definition of absorptance/absorptivity, and discuss how it relates to reflectivity. Either that or there should be a separate page.

Additionally, if anyone has a good idea of how the concepts of absorptance, reflectance and emissivity relate to the concept of albedo, it would be very helpful to update this page with some details. (talk) 01:28, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Reflectance/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

merge to colorimetry

Substituted at 01:11, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ V. I. Haltrin, W. E. McBride III, and R. A. Arnone (2001). "SPECTRAL APPROACH TO CALCULATE SPECULAR REFLECTION OF LIGHT FROM WAVY WATER SURFACE" (PDF). Proceedings of D. S. Rozhdestvensky Optical Society. pp. 133 to 138.  line feed character in |title= at position 51 (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)