16 Optics 1 - The law of reflection If the surface is flat...

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The law of reflection If the surface is flat and smooth, and the rays in the incident beam of light are parallel to each other (plane wave), they will all be reflected at the same angle. This is the case of specular reflection . If the surface is rough, the law of reflection will still work for every ray and every small element of the surface. The law of reflection will not work for the beam, however, because of random orientation of different surface elements. Different rays constituting the beam will be reflected in random directions, which is diffuse reflection .
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Specular reflection: an incident parallel beam is reflected as a parallel beam Diffuse reflection: a parallel beam is reflected as a bunch of diverging rays
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What type of reflection is more useful? Well, it depends, what you actually want to getelipsis
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Which part of the figure below shows specular reflection of light from the roadway? With diffuse reflection you see the road ; With specular reflection you see the lights of the car reflected off the road.
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Mirrors are designed to give nice specular reflection. Therefore the mirror surface is invisible by itself. There are no point sources of light on mirror surface. Therefore, looking into a mirror you see reflections of objects, not the mirror itself.
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Refraction of Light When a ray of light traveling through a transparent medium encounters a boundary leading into another transparent medium, part of the ray is reflected and part of the ray enters the second medium The ray that enters the second medium is bent at the boundary This bending of the ray is called refraction
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Refraction of Light.
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