Reflection

Reflection takes place when incoming light strikes the surface of a medium, obstructing some wavelengths which bounce back into the medium from which they originated.

    • The three laws of reflection are as follows:
      • The incident ray, the reflected ray and the normal to a surface all lie on the same plane.
      • The angle of the incident ray is equal to the angle which the reflected ray makes with the normal.
      • The incident ray and the reflected ray appear on opposite sides of the normal.
      • If a reflective surface is very smooth, the reflection is described as being specular or regular.
      • Specular reflection occurs when light waves reflect off a smooth surface such as a mirror. The arrangement of the waves remains the same and an image of objects that the light has already encountered become visible to an observer.
      • Diffuse reflection takes place when light reflects off a rough surface. In this case, scattering takes place and waves are reflected randomly in many different directions and so no image is produced.
      • Reflection can take place regardless of the optical density of the medium through which the incident light is propagating or of the medium it bounces off.

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