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When light hits an object, it bounces off the object’s surface and reaches our eyes. All that we see around us is made possible by a phenomenon called reflection. This lesson covers the definition, angle, types of reflection, and the law of reflection.

Law of Reflection and Angle of Reflection

Our surroundings–the sky, trees, people, and our image in the mirror –are made visible to us by reflection, where light bounces off the surface of the object and this light reaches our vision. Most of these objects do not emit light, but we can see them because light is reflected off of these objects.Let us consider a ray of light hitting the surface, which is called the incident ray. The incident ray comes in at an angle, which is called the angle of incidence.

The ray of light that bounces off the surface is called the reflected ray, and the angle at which the reflected ray bounces off the surface is called the angle of reflection.According to the law of reflection, the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection. Here, we see an illustration of the law of reflection, where the vertical dashed line is normal (perpendicular) to the surface. The angles of incidence and reflection are measured relative to the dashed line.

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Figure 2: reflection on a smooth surface resulting in a specular reflection

Some examples of objects that give off specular reflections are plane mirrors, smooth glass windows, and clear, still water.When reflection occurs on uneven surfaces, the law of reflection is still observed, with multiple incident rays bouncing off at multiple reflected rays due to the texture of the surface.

Light is diffused and a diffuse reflection occurs.

How so that it would bounce off the
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