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Types of Reflection

Regular Reflection
If a parallel beam of light is reflected as a parallel beam, when it strikes on a smooth and polished surface, then it is called regular reflection.


 


Plane Mirror: Looking glass, polished metal surfaces, mercury surface and smooth surface of water are all called plane mirrors.
 

REGULAR REFLECTION (SMOOTH SURFACES)

 


 


 


Irregular Reflection:
If a parallel beam of light is reflected as in different directions, when it strikes on a rough surface, then it is called irregular reflection.

 

IRREGULAR REFLECTION (ROUGH SURFACES)
 

 

Differences between regular reflection and irregular reflection

 

Regular Reflection

Irregular Reflection

It takes place in a smooth and polished surface. It takes place in a rough surface.
Parallel beam of light reflected as a parallel beam of light. Parallel beam of light reflected in different directions.
Image will form. No image or the image will be blurred and unclear.
It causes a very strong glare and is not good for the eyes. Its cuts off glare and does not strain our eyes.
It is taking place from mirrors, still water or oil and highly polished metals or furniture It is taking place from the walls, stones and trees etc.


Interesting applications of regular and diffuse reflection:
Relative difficulty of night driving on a dry concrete roadway compared to a wet concrete roadway. Most drivers are aware of the fact that driving at night on a wet roadway results in an annoying glare from oncoming headlights. The glare is the result of the diffuse reflection of the beam of light from an oncoming car. Normally a roadway would cause diffuse reflection due to its rough surface.

But if the surface is rough, water can fill in the crevices and smooth out the surface. Rays of light from the beam of an oncoming car hit this smooth surface, undergo regular reflection and remain concentrated in a beam.





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