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2.1 Examples of reflection

Identify in one's everyday environment examples of reflected light.

Examples of reflection

Here are two photos of Lake Louise in British Columbia. The first shows the reflections of mountains on the water, while in the second the reflections are not clear. Why is the reflection not always visible?

The reflection of the mountains is observed when the lake is calm. Thus the water surface is flat, and reflects the light the same as it arrived. But when it's windy, waves form, and the light is reflected in all directions.

Types of reflection

One can distinguish, therefore, two types of reflection: specular and diffuse. Specular reflection is associated with reflections on a flat surface that allows light to change direction without altering the path of the rays in relation to one another.

With diffuse reflection, the direction of light is also changed, but the path of the rays is changed such that the rays are no longer parallel to each other.

Reflection is associated with the presence of a solid or a liquid. Gases diffuse light.

The diffusion of light by gas
Ancient theories of vision