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Flat Mirrors. Chapter 14 Section 2. Light and How It Travels. Light traveling through a uniform substance travels in a straight line. Air Water Vacuum Etc… Once light encounters a different substance, its path will change. Air to water Vacuum to glass to air. Opaque.

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flat mirrors

Flat Mirrors

Chapter 14 Section 2

light and how it travels
Light and How It Travels
  • Light traveling through a uniform substance travels in a straight line.
    • Air
    • Water
    • Vacuum
    • Etc…
  • Once light encounters a different substance, its path will change.
    • Air to water
    • Vacuum to glass to air
  • Opaque material is a substance that does not allow light to transmit through it.
    • Most material is opaque.
  • Some of the light is absorbed by the material and the rest of it is deflected off the surface.
  • Reflection – The turning back of an electromagnetic wave at the surface of a substance.
    • Basically, a change in the direction of light.
  • Most materials absorb at least some of the incoming light and reflect the rest.
  • A mirror reflects almost all the light.
reflection depends upon the surface
Reflection Depends Upon The Surface
  • The reflection of light depends upon the smoothness of the surface which the light is in contact with.
    • Diffuse reflection is when light is reflected in many directions.
      • Paper, wood, cloth, etc..
    • Specular reflection is when the light is reflected all in the same direction.
      • Glass mirror, shiny metals, water.
angles of reflection
Angles of Reflection
  • Incoming angles of light are equal to outgoing angles of light on a smooth surface.
angle of incidence
Angle of Incidence
  • Angle of Incidence - The angle between a ray that strikes a surface and the normal to that surface at the point of contact.
    • A line perpendicular to the reflecting surface is referred to as the “normal.”
  • Variable for Angle of Incidence
    • θ (theta)
angle of reflection
Angle of Reflection
  • Angle of Reflection – The angle formed by the line normal to a surface and the direction in which a reflected ray moves.
  • Variable for Angle of Reflection
    • θ’ (theta prime)
incidence and reflection
Incidence and Reflection
  • The angle of incidence and angle of reflection are equal on a reflection surface.

θ = θ’

Angle of incoming light ray = Angle of reflected light ray

angle between light and surface
Angle Between Light and Surface
  • The angle between the reflective surface and the incoming light ray equals 90º - θ.
  • The angle between the reflective surface and the reflected light ray equals 90º - θ’.
flat mirror
Flat Mirror
  • The simplest mirror is a flat mirror.
  • An object is placed a certain distance away from a mirror’s surface (p – object distance).
  • To an observer looking at the mirror, these rays appear to come from a location on the other side of the mirror (q – image distance)
object distance image distance
Object Distance & Image Distance
  • The object distance and image distance are equal on a flat mirror.
  • Similarly, the image of the object is the same size as the object.
virtual image
Virtual Image
  • Virtual Image – An image formed by light rays that only appear to intersect.
    • Also known as an Imaginary Image.
  • A flat mirror always forms a virtual image, which can only be seen “behind” the surface of the mirror.
  • A virtual image can never be displayed on a physical surface.
ray diagrams
Ray Diagrams
  • Ray diagrams are drawings that use simple geometry to locate an image formed by a mirror.
ray diagrams and flat mirrors
Ray Diagrams and Flat Mirrors
  • A ray diagram procedure will work for any object placed in front of a flat mirror.
  • The image formed by a flat mirror appears to have right-to-left reversal.