Reflection of light is defined as the bouncing back of the light ray after striking a smooth surface or interface separating two different mediums with the same angle, with the same properties, and in the same medium.
The ray of light which first strikes a surface is called an incident ray, and the outcome of the reflection that takes place results in giving a reflected ray.
There are mainly two laws of reflection that you need to keep in mind. They are:
Reflection of light is the ray of light you get back in return after the incident ray has struck a surface. This phenomenon can take place in two types of reflection such as:
This type of reflection occurs when the incident light ray falls on a polished, smooth, and uniform surface such as a plane mirror. The incident beam of light rays is parallel to one another, and even the reflected light rays are parallel and fixed in one direction.
The beam of reflected light rays is only visible from a particular direction or angle. Thus, the use of this reflection is simply for seeing our image in a plane and a uniform mirror.
This type of reflection occurs when the incident light ray falls on a rough or non-uniform surface, such as a wall in a room. The incident beams of light rays are parallel to one another. However, these rays fall on different points in the rough surface after striking the surface, leading to a different and independent reflection of rays for every point. The irregular reflection results in every reflected ray travelling in different directions.
The product of these reflections takes place in the formation of an image. An image is what we see after the phenomenon of reflection of light. There are mainly two types of images that the reflection of the light waves can produce.
Another interesting branch of reflection of light that actually originated from the concept of refraction of light is called Total Internal Reflection. This phenomenon shows a complete reflection of light rays when passed from one medium to another. It depends majorly on an angle called the critical angle.
The critical angle can be defined as the angle of incidence at which the refracted ray is at 90 degrees with the normal.
There are certain limitations and requirements of this phenomenon. Those are:
The reflecting light rays enable us to see everything we can in the environment, so having adequate knowledge about this topic is very important.
NCERT Class 10 Science Chapter 10, light reflection and refraction deals with the principles of light and its phenomena. It also discusses some common phenomena like rainbows, images, the twinkling of stars, and how they're formed.