What is Reflection and refraction: Definition and 37 Discussions

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 specular reflection the angle at which the wave is incident on the surface equals the angle at which it is reflected. Mirrors exhibit specular reflection.
In acoustics, reflection causes echoes and is used in sonar. In geology, it is important in the study of seismic waves. Reflection is observed with surface waves in bodies of water. Reflection is observed with many types of electromagnetic wave, besides visible light. Reflection of VHF and higher frequencies is important for radio transmission and for radar. Even hard X-rays and gamma rays can be reflected at shallow angles with special "grazing" mirrors.

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  1. Lotto

    Calculate a radius of a circle on a screen

    The picture is here. The radius should be ##R=2.94\,\mathrm {cm}##. In the original solution, it is solved by using a critical angle ϵm. The b is the maximum distance at which a beam can refract. I understand this solution and an image of it is here: But I wanted to calculate it by knowing...
  2. hagopbul

    I have a question about the mathematical model of a reflective curve

    Hello : Have a question regarding the mathematical model of reflective curve where could i find information on it ? (pdf , webpages , ebooks ,...etc ) Other than Wikipedia Best Regards HB
  3. Mr_Allod

    Reflection and Refraction in an Elliptical Imaging Mirror

    My thoughts so far: a. Since the critical angle occurs at the origin for the given parameters I would imagine that the maximum power reflected would be 100% since at the critical angle ##\theta_t = \frac \pi 2## and ##r_ {\perp} = r_{\parallel} = 1##. I do not know how I might go about finding...
  4. P

    Position of the object and image in this optics problem

    I know how to solve the problem but the only thing that's bothering me is what is A? According to me A is should be 2F ie 2 times the focal length distance. I thought of it like this: 1. First there will be an image formed due to the lens. 2. The image will be formed below the lens but the...
  5. nuclearfireball_42

    Why light reflected off of my calculator screen turns bluish?

    So, I was in class listening to my lecturer when I notice something intriguing. I was looking at the reflection of a lamp on the screen of my calculator. I paid close attention to the colour of the light reflected of my calculator and realized that when I rotate my calculator by about 90 deg...
  6. Muhammad Danish

    Reflection and Refraction formula help

    Homework Statement 2. Homework Equations 3. The Attempt at a Solution [/B] I tried to solve this question with the general formula n=sin i / sin r. 1.5 = sin 30/sin r, r = 19.4 = 19 which is option A. But option A is incorrect. Please guide me where am I wrong..
  7. P

    5 Questions dealing with Optics, image included

    1. A real inverted image I of an object O is formed by a certain lens (not shown); the object—image separation is d = 40.0 cm, measured along the central axis of the lens. The image is just half the size of the object, a. What kind of lens must be used to produce this image? b. How far from the...
  8. sounouhid

    Four Waves Formalism - Course & Paper Info

    hi every one can anyone give me a course or a paper talking about the four waves formalism introduced by Landau and Lifshitz thanks for advance :)
  9. E

    Wave reflection and refraction, relations between angles

    Hello! This post is strictly related to my previous one. Let's consider the same context and the same image. Regarding the oblique incidence of a wave upon an interface between two dielectric, all the texts and all the lectures write an equation like the following: e^{-j k_1 y \sin \theta_i} +...
  10. N

    How reflection and refraction of light are expressed at the particle level?

    How reflection and refraction of light expressed at the particles level ? Thanks in advance
  11. A

    Reflection and refraction: the same thing at the atomic level?

    I got cornered in a discussion on the internet... I am not sure if I am right or not (I thought I was when I started). If you guys here tell me I am wrong, I have no problem admitting if I am indeed wrong first... person 2 said "Refraction =/= reflection. The atmosphere is colorless because...
  12. H

    Reflection and refraction with equal refractive indices?

    The Fresnel equations indicate that radiation will be 100% transmitted if two mediums have the same refractive indices. If that is true, then whey is there so much reflection off of, for instance, cracks in glass? Is this because there is a microscopic vacancy where the index of refraction...
  13. T

    Light Through Glass: Exploring Reflection and Refraction

    Hi everyone! Just wondering why when light hits glass it can pass through and be reflected at the same time. I'd like the classical and quantum explanation if possible. Also try to keep it simple. Thank you!
  14. N

    How does photon react in reflection and refraction?

    I want to apologize first of i post at the wrong section, not very sure if this is the right place for this post. First question, does the photon get absorbed when it hit highly reflecting material like mirror ? What make them look so different from the other transparent object? And I just...
  15. S

    Reflection and refraction of light

    Homework Statement One of the contests at the school carnival is to throw a spear at an underwater target lying flat on the bottom of a pool. The water is 0.900 m deep. You're standing on a small stool that places your eyes 3.20 m above the bottom of the pool. As you look at the target, your...
  16. cryora

    At the subatomic level, how does reflection and refraction occur?

    I'm guessing it has to do with electron excitation, and the release of EM waves when the electrons fall back to their ground state, but I am want to learn more about this in detail. I've barely covered Maxwell's Equations and optics in a lower division general physics course, so there's a whole...
  17. P

    What Type of Mirror Creates an Inverted, Real Image Half the Object's Size?

    An object is placed 11 cm from a certain mirror. The image is half the height of the object, inverted, and real. 1/p+1/i=1/f ? Clueless because I don't know how to set up the equation int his kind of situation.
  18. A

    What is reflection and refraction of light at the microscopic scale?

    I'm not asking for what reflection and refraction are or the usual law governing it, but I would like to understand what they represent at the quantum atomic, molecular level? In a mirror is it about photons absorbed and emitted with the same wavelength and same direction through atomic electron...
  19. A

    A definition for the normal in reflection and refraction?

    A definition for the normal in reflection and refraction?
  20. E

    Electromagnetic Reflection and Refraction

    Homework Statement An EM wave travels in vacuum and incidents on a dialectric material in the XZ plane. The wave's polarization is in the \hat{y} direction. Prove that the polarization of both reflected and refracted waves are too along the \hat{y} axis. Homework Equations The...
  21. S

    Problem with reflection and refraction.

    1. A 1 cm tall object sits 6cm to the left of a converging lens, f = 10 cm. A flat plane mirror sits 2 cm to the right of the lens. Light passes through the lens, reflects off the mirror, then back through the lens. Where is the final image? Real or Virtual? Upright or inverted? How big is it...
  22. B

    Losses involved in reflection and refraction

    when light is reflected on a surface, there is always going to be some absorbsion by the reflective material. what I'm curious to find out is whether the losses in refraction are compareable? is it just dependant on the transparency of the material?
  23. C

    Do photons really bounce and bend? A question for physicists

    I am not a physicist but I do have a non-mathematical science background and I am a serious physics appreciator. I am new to this site and have a pressing question I would like to ask a physicist. High school and even college level physics texts desribe the reflection and refraction of light...
  24. W

    (3 questions) Reflection and Refraction

    1. A light source, S, is located 2.0 m below the surface of a swimming pool and 1.5 m from one edged of the pool. The pool is filled to the top with water. a) At what angle does the light reaching the edge of the pool leave the water? b) Does this cause the light viewed from this angle to...
  25. B

    Reflection and Refraction Ranking by Phase Shifts

    1. A ray of light is incident onto the interface between material 1 and material 2. There is a figure, which is a standard figure of a ray in medium of n1 striking an interface where medium2 (with n2) meets medium1. As is typical, some of the light is reflected and some is refracted. The...
  26. D

    Reflection and Refraction, much index of refraction

    Homework Statement 1. The index of refraction for water is 1.33 and that of glass is 1.50. a. What is the critical angle for a glass-water interface?b. In which medium is the light ray incident for total internal reflection?Homework Equations nisin\varthetai=nrsin\varthetarThe Attempt at a...
  27. R

    P-waves and S-wave reflection and refraction

    I am instructor for a company that does Oil well Accoustic logging. Basically we send an Acoustic pulse out and have a reciever 3' and 5' down the tool (vertically) as we log up and interpret the signal that is received back at the reciever. I was wondering if anyone can help me find...
  28. S

    Reflection and Refraction (Lateral Displacement)

    1. The Problem A thin beam of white light is directed at an angle α = 36.4° with respect to the horizontal, onto the top of a square block of silicate flint glass near its top corner. The perpendicular length of the block (or height is 1cm). The block’s refractive index n is 1.66 for blue...
  29. B

    Reflection and refraction of light problem

    Homework Statement 3. Assume the slab is perfectly rectangular and has width W. (a) Calculate the distance (L) the light travels INSIDE the block as a function of W and the angle t1. (b) From the right-angled triangle with vertices IPE calculate the lateral displacement x in terms of...
  30. Y

    Why does Fresnel's law only use 2 boundary conditions compared to Maxwell's 4?

    We use only 2 boundary conditions in driving Fresnel's laws, whereas Maxwell's equations provided 4 conditions (2 were identical to other 2). What is the intuitive explanation for this redundancy? which boundary conditions turned out to be equivanlent to each other.
  31. J

    Explaining reflection and refraction in atomic level

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=899393&postcount=4 describes why photons are slower in some medium. After reading it, I've few more questions: When a photon hits an electron, if it absorbs the photon and reemits, here's my questions: 1. How does refraction possible? The...
  32. T

    How Does the Index of Refraction Change Across Different Materials?

    In Figure 33-48a, a light ray in a liquid (n = 1.61) is incident at angle 1 on a boundary with an underlying material, into which some of the light refracts. There are two choices of underlying material. For each, the angle of refraction 2 versus the incident angle 1 is given in Figure 33-48b...
  33. N

    Solving the Biconcave Lens Problem with Reflection and Refraction

    Here's the problem: Here's what I understand: I know what a biconcave lens looks like, and how it behaves (for the most part). Of course I know that the index of refraction is ~1.00. And since the radii are equal that makes the equation somewhat easier. The thick lens equation is...
  34. R

    [optics] reflection and refraction

    i have a problem with understanding the phenomenon of reflection and refraction of light. when considering light as a electromagnetic wave i cannot imagine how it can be reflected or refracted when meeting a surface of different refractive index. it just sounds illogical to me that sth...
  35. J

    Law of reflection and refraction

    Hi; I was wondering if someone could please help me with this question: "When you measure the law of reflection and the law of refraction, what is the advantage of making 2 measurements: one clockwise from the normal and one counterclockwise from the normal?" Could an advantage be that this is...
  36. S

    How Do You Calculate Lateral Displacement in Refraction Problems?

    Hello! I'm having difficulty solving this problem, I was wondering if you can help me solve it. Light is incident in air at an angle on the upper surface of a transparent plate, the surfaces of the plate being plane and parallel to each other. A ray of light is incident at an angle of 66.0...