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Why some things are darker when wet

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Abstract

Ångstrom has proposed that rough absorbing materials are darker when wet because their diffuse reflection makes possible total internal reflection in the water film covering them, increasing the likelihood of the absorption of light by the surface. His model is extended here in two ways: the probability of internal reflection is calculated more accurately, and the effect on absorption of the decrease of the relative refractive index (liquid to material instead of air to material) is estimated. Both extensions decrease the albedo of the wetted surface, bringing the model into good agreement with experiment.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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