  Study Locus

# Answered: Clarify the distinction between light reflection and light refraction by describing clear, obvious examples of each

Clarify the distinction between light reflection and light refraction by describing clear, obvious examples of each

Light reflection is a phenomenon that occurs when a beam of light rebounds after hitting a surface. An example of a reflection is a mirror image. In reflection, the beam of light that hits the surface e.g. mirror surface is called the incident ray while the beam of light that bounces from the surface is called reflected ray. In reflection, both the angle of incidence and the angle of reflection are equal. For example, if light strikes a mirror at an angle of 30o then the angle of reflection would be equal to 30o. Angles of incidence and reflection do are always the same even for multiple beams of light. If the surface involved is smooth like a mirror, the reflection is regular and is usually referred to as specular reflection. However, if the surface involved is rough or irregular, the reflection would occur in different directions and is normally referred to as diffuse reflection. Reflection of light only involves light travelling in the same media for example water, air, or vacuum.

Light also undergoes refraction. This phenomenon occurs when light moves from one medium to another for instance from vacuum to air or from air to water etc. light refraction occurs at the interface of the media involved. Generally light is described to travel in a straight line. However, when it travels from one medium to another provided the two have varying densities, refraction occurs and it involves bending of light at the interface. This occurs due to changes in speed and wavelength of light. In refraction, the beam of light that strikes the interface (e.g. air-water interface) is called the incident ray while the beam of light that is bent in the other medium is called refracted ray. The angles of incidence and refraction are not necessarily the same. The angle of refraction varies depending on the refractive index of the media involved.

Type of Paper