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Reflection and refraction - Research Paper Example

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Reflection and refraction

eflection to occur, the light waves have to encounter a boundary that cannot absorb radiation energy forcing the waves to bounce away from the surface. Reflection is always enhanced by suppression of wave propagation in metals. For one to understand reflection, one must understand the law of reflection and also the different types the reflection has.
Reflection of light is either specular meaning it is mirror-like or diffuse meaning that it retains energy. Specular light reflection also called regular reflection is seen when smooth surfaces direct reflected light at an opposite angle (Rezetko and Auld, 19). Specular reflection is mainly seen on smooth surfaces like mirrors or even a calm body of water. During specular reflection, laws of reflection are applied. The light rays that usually hit the surface of the mirror are called the incident rays. Those lights that are reflected from the surface of the mirror are always called the reflected rays. The first law entails that the incident rays of light, the reflected rays and even the normal to the reflection surface which is at the point of reflection should lie in the same plane. The angle of incidence is that angle at which beams of light hit a reflecting surface. The second law of specular reflection is that the angle made by the incident ray with the normal is always equal to that angle in which the reflected beams of light make to the same normal. The third law of specular reflection is that the reflected rays and the incident rays lie on the opposite sides of the normal.
Since the light behaves somehow as waves and in other ways as if it is composed of particles, there has emerged a number of independent theories that explain this phenomenon. In reference to wave based theories, the waves of light spread out in all directions from the source. Immediately they strike a mirror; they become reflected by an angle that is determined by the angle that the light arrives. The process of reflection thereby inverts ...Show more


During reflection, change in the direction of a wave front occurs at an interface that is between two surfaces (Rezetko and Auld, 8). For reflection to occur, the surface has to be smooth and shiny. Reflection, therefore,…
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