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Specular Reflection

The mirror-like reflection of waves, such as light, from a surface.
Heart Of The City Water Feature Sheffield Geograph.org.uk 618552

Specular reflection, also known as regular reflection, is the mirror-like reflection of waves, such as light, from a surface. In this process, each incident ray is reflected at the same angle to the surface normal as the incident ray, but on the opposing side of the surface normal in the plane formed by incident and reflected rays. The result is that an image reflected by the surface is reproduced in mirror-like (specular) fashion.

The law of reflection states that for each incident ray the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection, and the incident, normal, and reflected directions are coplanar. This behavior was first described by Hero of Alexandria (AD c. 10–70). It may be contrasted with diffuse reflection, in which light is scattered away from the surface in a range of directions rather than just one.

Key Terms

angle
definition
incident
incident ray
mirror like reflection waves
process
regular reflection
specular reflection
surface
usage

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Specular Reflection
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Last modified on December 12 2019
Content adapted from Wikipedia
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