# Reflection and Refraction

Also, it has aided in the understanding on what makes the objects visible. The law of reflection The rule of reflection holds for specular reflection the angle at which the wave is incident on the surface equals the angle at which it is reflected (Anonymous, 2010). Reflection occurs when the wave travels through one medium to another. This is referred to as refractive index of the media. I order to determine the refractive index of different media, the following formula is used. n=c/v whereby, n is the refractive index of the material, c represents speed of light in vacuum and v is the speed of light in vacuum (Reeves, 2008). According to the law of reflection, the angle of incidence and the angle of reflection falls on the same reflecting surface and are equal and on opposite sides of the normal line (Kosso, 1998). Also, there is an assumption of a normal line which is an imaginary line perpendicular to the plane mirror surface and is the central line between incident and reflected lines (appendix 1). When reflection occurs on an even surface, it forms a mirror image which appears overturned from right to left. However, when specular reflection occurs at a curved surface, these forms magnified or de-magnified images. Causes of reflection The nature of reflection depends on the surface in which the waves come into contact with (Jacobs amp. Schulman, 2008). … Diffuse reflection of light waves enables us to see the various objects after coming into contact with various objects. In some situations, the reflected waves return in the direction they came from. This is referred to as retroreflection hence this makes the object to appear brighter (Reeves, 2008). Also, it is possible for reflected waves to undergo further reflections after coming into contact with another surface. This is referred to as multiple reflections (appendix 2). For example, this is observed if two mirrors are placed opposite each other and then an image is placed between them. Infinite images are formed on each mirror due to the occurrence of multiple reflections. Application of Reflection Reflections of waves of energy have numerous uses in daily lives. For example, the reflection if light waves are used in x-rays whereby, the light waves are converged and focused at a point to generate immense energy appropriate for the activity (Jacobs amp. Schulman, 2008). Different materials have different refractive indices hence when energy wave moves from dense to less dense refractive index materials. the reflected wave is diverged away from the normal. On the other hand, a movement of energy wave from a material with a less dense to a material with denser refractive index, the reflected wave is deflected to the normal line. The knowledge of reflection has also been applied in radar to manage the operations of aircrafts at the airport (Kosso, 1998). The same knowledge is also applied in radio and television broadcasting among other areas. The characteristics of waves can be viewed in the water bodies or as electromagnetic waves such as visible light. Conclusion When waves come into contact with