Why is Light Reflected? PLs help me.

Why is Light Reflected? PLs help me.

Grade:12th pass

4 Answers

Kenneth Biju
30 Points
12 years ago
A glass mirror is a piece of glass with a reflective coating on the back side. If a surface is extremely smooth and flat, it will reflect light waves without distorting them. Metal mirrors are less efficient, generally because the metal is difficult to polish to the same smoothness as glass. Water can be an effective mirror, if the surface of it is perfectly smooth. The question is Why? The answer is that light reflects off everything. It is normal for light to reflect. A photon hits an atom or molecule of substance and it bounces off it. That's how come we can see things. Because light bounces off them. So it is no mystery that light bounces off (reflects) mirrors. The only difference between mirrors and other things is they bounce nearly ALL the light wave lengths back and are smooth to not distort the reflection and we are accustomed to use them for looking at ourselves and come to think of them as different. If all the wavelengths were not reflected the mirror would have a colour. The colour of the reflected wavelengths of light. Absorption of a wavelength would be, I'd guess (I'm no scientist) the losing of some of the energy of those photons - lose all its energy and it'd be extinguished, I guess. Possibly the question really should be Why Can't We See A Mirror? because that's the funny thing: we see only the reflections and fail to see the reflective surface and that's because, again, 'seeing' means looking at reflected light.
Ashwin Sinha
520 Points
12 years ago

Dear Pavani,

Reflection is the change in direction of a wavefront at an interface between two different media so that the wavefront returns into the medium from which it originated. Common examples include the reflection of light, sound and water waves. The law of reflection says that for smooth surfaces, the angle at which light is incident on the surface equals the angle at which it is reflected.
Reflections may occur in a number of wave and particle phenomena; these include acoustic (as in common echoes and underwater sonar), seismic waves in geologic structures, surface waves in bodies of water, and various electromagnetic waves, most usefully from VHF and higher radar frequencies, progressing upward through centimeter to millimeter-wavelength radar and the various light frequencies and (with special "grazing" mirrors, to X-ray frequencies and beyond to gamma rays.



The surface of an object scatters, or reflects, that part of incident light that is neither absorbed by its material nor transmitted through it.

When a reflecting surface is highly ordered, such as a smooth mirror surface, it may preserve much of the information encoded in the incident light, so that when the reflected light is finally observed, the image of the source may be seen in the reflection.

However, in general reflecting surfaces are not ordered sufficiently to preserve all the information that comes to them in the incident light, so that the reflected light contains less information about the light's source than the incident light did.




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harini desiraju
31 Points
12 years ago

I can give u the exact answer assuming light to exhibit particle nature.

Hope ur very well aware of properties of a perfectly elastic collision.

u must be knowing the formula 

tanθ1=e(tanθ2) ;where θ1is angle at which a particle hit the surface and θ2 is the angle at which it leaves contact with the surface.(all angles are measured with respect to normal).Size of light particle is infinitesimally small compared to the mirror.So, due to this collision of light particle with mirror it rebounds back.

Now I'm gonna prove one of the major laws of reflection using the above mentioned points.

as mentioned earlier size of light particle is very small.(relatively)

So, we don't expect any loss of energy.

this collision is expected to be perfectly elastic. so, e=1

tanθ1=tanθ2. so angle of incidence=angle of reflection.

Pavani Bandi
33 Points
12 years ago

Thanq u all for replying

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