Optics

Difference between Reflection and refraction in tabular form

Difference between reflection and refraction
Reflection Vs Refraction

Reflection and refraction are two different properties of light. The basic difference between reflection and refraction is that Reflection of light is the process in which light bounces back on striking the surface, while refraction of light is the process in which light changes its direction as it passes from one medium to another medium.

Now we learn in detail about Reflection and Refraction.

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What is reflection?

Whenever a ray of light comes back into the same medium after striking the surface of another medium then the phenomenon is called reflection of light.

Laws of reflection

  1. The incident ray, the reflected ray, and the normal at the point of incidence all lie in the same plane.
  2. The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection.

Types of Reflection

There are two types of reflection of light.

  1. Regular reflection
  2. Irregular reflection

Regular Reflection

If parallel rays of light are incident on a plane smooth reflecting surface then after reflection they remain parallel. This type of reflection is called regular reflection.

Irregular Reflection

If parallel rays of light are incident on the rough reflecting surface then they do not remain parallel after reflection. This type of reflection is called irregular reflection.

Importance of Irregular Reflection
  • Due to irregular reflection, the rays of light are able to reach at those places where rays of light cannot reach normally.
  • We are able to get light for sometime before the sunrise and after the sunset.
  • Transparent substances having many phases are used as decoration pieces and in jewelry shine too much due to irregular reflection.
  • All the non-luminous objects are visible due to irregular reflection.

Read Also: Examples of reflection of light

What is the refraction of light?

The change of direction and speed of light as it enters from one medium to another is called the refraction of light. Lenses, Prisms are examples of refraction.

Laws of Refraction

  • The incident ray, refracted ray and normal ray at the point of incident lie in the same plane.
  • The ratio of Sin of the angle of incidence and sin of the angle of refraction is equal to constant. This constant is known as the refractive index. This is concluded by a Scientist called Snell, therefore it is also called Snell’s law.

Read also: Examples of Refraction of light

Reflection Vs Refraction

ReflectionRefraction
When light falls from one medium on the surface of another medium apart from it bounce back in the same medium. This process is called a reflection of light.When light falls from one medium on the surface of another medium it changes its direction and speed. This process is called the refraction of light.
In this process, light bounces back.In this process light change path.
In this process, light waves bounce off the plane and change direction.In this method, light waves change their direction and speed.
In reflection of the light angle of incidence is equal to the angle reflection.In refraction angle of the incident is not equal to the angle of refraction.
It occurs in mirrors.It occurs in lenses.
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Difference between reflection and refraction (video)


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