1.2 The law of reflection  (Page 2/4)

 Page 2 / 4 (a) Your image in a mirror is behind the mirror. The two rays shown are those that strike the mirror at just the correct angles to be reflected into the eyes of the person. The image appears to be behind the mirror at the same distance away as (b) if you were looking at your twin directly, with no mirror.

Corner reflectors (retroreflectors)

A light ray that strikes an object consisting of two mutually perpendicular reflecting surfaces is reflected back exactly parallel to the direction from which it came ( [link] ). This is true whenever the reflecting surfaces are perpendicular, and it is independent of the angle of incidence. (For proof, see [link] at the end of this section.) Such an object is called a corner reflector    , since the light bounces from its inside corner. Corner reflectors are a subclass of retroreflectors, which all reflect rays back in the directions from which they came. Although the geometry of the proof is much more complex, corner reflectors can also be built with three mutually perpendicular reflecting surfaces and are useful in three-dimensional applications. A light ray that strikes two mutually perpendicular reflecting surfaces is reflected back exactly parallel to the direction from which it came.

Many inexpensive reflector buttons on bicycles, cars, and warning signs have corner reflectors designed to return light in the direction from which it originated. Rather than simply reflecting light over a wide angle, retroreflection ensures high visibility if the observer and the light source are located together, such as a car’s driver and headlights. The Apollo astronauts placed a true corner reflector on the Moon ( [link] ). Laser signals from Earth can be bounced from that corner reflector to measure the gradually increasing distance to the Moon of a few centimeters per year. (a) Astronauts placed a corner reflector on the Moon to measure its gradually increasing orbital distance. (b) The bright spots on these bicycle safety reflectors are reflections of the flash of the camera that took this picture on a dark night. (credit a: modification of work by NASA; credit b: modification of work by “Julo”/Wikimedia Commons)

Working on the same principle as these optical reflectors, corner reflectors are routinely used as radar reflectors ( [link] ) for radio-frequency applications. Under most circumstances, small boats made of fiberglass or wood do not strongly reflect radio waves emitted by radar systems. To make these boats visible to radar (to avoid collisions, for example), radar reflectors are attached to boats, usually in high places.

As a counterexample, if you are interested in building a stealth airplane, radar reflections should be minimized to evade detection. One of the design considerations would then be to avoid building $90\text{°}$ corners into the airframe.

Summary

• When a light ray strikes a smooth surface, the angle of reflection equals the angle of incidence.
• A mirror has a smooth surface and reflects light at specific angles.
• Light is diffused when it reflects from a rough surface.

Conceptual questions

Using the law of reflection, explain how powder takes the shine off of a person’s nose. What is the name of the optical effect?

Powder consists of many small particles with randomly oriented surfaces. This leads to diffuse reflection, reducing shine.

Problems

Suppose a man stands in front of a mirror as shown below. His eyes are 1.65 m above the floor and the top of his head is 0.13 m higher. Find the height above the floor of the top and bottom of the smallest mirror in which he can see both the top of his head and his feet. How is this distance related to the man’s height? Show that when light reflects from two mirrors that meet each other at a right angle, the outgoing ray is parallel to the incoming ray, as illustrated below. proof

On the Moon’s surface, lunar astronauts placed a corner reflector, off which a laser beam is periodically reflected. The distance to the Moon is calculated from the round-trip time. What percent correction is needed to account for the delay in time due to the slowing of light in Earth’s atmosphere? Assume the distance to the Moon is precisely $3.84\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}×\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}{10}^{8}\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}\text{m}$ and Earth’s atmosphere (which varies in density with altitude) is equivalent to a layer 30.0 km thick with a constant index of refraction $n=1.000293.$

A flat mirror is neither converging nor diverging. To prove this, consider two rays originating from the same point and diverging at an angle $\theta$ (see below). Show that after striking a plane mirror, the angle between their directions remains $\theta .$ proof

A Pb wire wound in a tight solenoid of diameter of 4.0 mm is cooled to a temperature of 5.0 K. The wire is connected in series with a 50-Ωresistor and a variable source of emf. As the emf is increased, what value does it have when the superconductivity of the wire is destroyed?
how does colour appear in thin films
in the wave equation y=Asin(kx-wt+¢) what does k and w stand for.
derivation of lateral shieft
hi
Imran
total binding energy of ionic crystal at equilibrium is
How does, ray of light coming form focus, behaves in concave mirror after refraction?
Sushant
What is motion
Anything which changes itself with respect to time or surrounding
Sushant
good
Chemist
and what's time? is time everywhere same
Chemist
No
Sushant
how can u say that
Chemist
do u know about black hole
Chemist
Not so more
Sushant
DHEERAJ
Sushant
But ask anything changes itself with respect to time or surrounding A Not any harmful radiation
DHEERAJ
explain cavendish experiment to determine the value of gravitational concept.
Cavendish Experiment to Measure Gravitational Constant. ... This experiment used a torsion balance device to attract lead balls together, measuring the torque on a wire and equating it to the gravitational force between the balls. Then by a complex derivation, the value of G was determined.
Triio
For the question about the scuba instructor's head above the pool, how did you arrive at this answer? What is the process?
as a free falling object increases speed what is happening to the acceleration
of course g is constant
Alwielland
acceleration also inc
Usman
which paper will be subjective and which one objective
jay
normal distributiin of errors report
Dennis
normal distribution of errors
Dennis
acceleration also increases
Jay
there are two correct answers depending on whether air resistance is considered. none of those answers have acceleration increasing.
Michael
Acceleration is the change in velocity over time, hence it's the derivative of the velocity with respect to time. So this case would depend on the velocity. More specifically the change in velocity in the system.
Big
photo electrons doesn't emmit when electrons are free to move on surface of metal why?
What would be the minimum work function of a metal have to be for visible light(400-700)nm to ejected photoelectrons?
give any fix value to wave length
Rafi
40 cm into change mm
40cm=40.0×10^-2m =400.0×10^-3m =400mm. that cap(^) I have used above is to the power.
Prema
i.e. 10to the power -2 in the first line and 10 to the power -3 in the the second line.
Prema
there is mistake in my first msg correction is 40cm=40.0×10^-2m =400.0×10^-3m =400mm. sorry for the mistake friends.
Prema
40cm=40.0×10^-2m =400.0×10^-3m =400mm.
Prema
this msg is out of mistake. sorry friends​.
Prema
what is physics?
why we have physics
because is the study of mater and natural world
John
because physics is nature. it explains the laws of nature. some laws already discovered. some laws yet to be discovered.
Yoblaze
physics is the study of non living things if we added it with biology it becomes biophysics and bio is the study of living things tell me please what is this?
tahreem
physics is the study of matter,energy and their interactions
Buvanes
all living things are matter
Buvanes
why rolling friction is less than sliding friction
tahreem
thanks buvanas
tahreem   By Prateek Ashtikar   By    