Reflection and Mirrors - Mission RM4 Detailed Help

In the diagrams, ray A would reflect and follow the law of reflection. On the other hand, ray B would _____.


Diffuse Reflection:
Diffuse reflection occurs when a beam of light (a collection of several individual light rays) reflects off a rough surface. Each individual light ray within the beam approaches the surface parallel to each other. Upon reflection, the individual light rays within the original beam scatter (or diffuse) in different directions.

Because diffuse reflection happens distinctly differently than regular or specular reflection, many students falsely believe that it demonstrates two different rules of reflection. To them, regular reflection follows the law of reflection and diffuse reflection follows some other law. But don't be fooled! In both cases, the law of reflection is followed. The distinction between the two forms of reflection can be attributed to differences in the the surface and not to differences in how light behaves. In each case, light follows the law of reflection. For reflection off of smooth surfaces, each individual ray strikes a surface with the same orientation as the others. For reflection off of rough surfaces, each individual ray typically strikes a surface that is oriented in a different direction as the other rays.


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