When light is reflected it basically bounces off an object. This process undergoes the Law of Reflection. The Law of Reflection can be described as a 45° angle that is split into two angles; the angle of incidence
and the angle of reflection
. The line that cuts between the two angles is known as the normal
. It is perpendicular to the plane where the light is being reflected. The ray that is coming toward the object is called the ray of incident. The incident ray hits the normal and reflects.
For example if you stand in front of a mirror and shine a flashlight directly at the mirror, the light will flash back at you. But if there is a two-way mirror and you flash a light on it, the amount of light reflected back is not as strong. In fact, if you stare closely at the mirror you can see the other side of the mirror.
A laser is another interesting light that can be visibly seen when using mirrors to reflect it. A periscope is a tool that also uses mirrors and reflection. It has mirrors on different ends of the tube and one a 45° angle. These mirrors use the law of reflection allowing us to see from one end of the tube to the other.
In the applet on the right you can see how a laserbeam gets reflected by a mirror.
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