Reflection of Light and Laws of Reflection


The reflected ray of light is every time expressed to be similar to falling on a normal surface. The comprehension process of images that is relying on a plan and curved mirror are identical to applying the law of reflection. Unlike the mirrors, most surfaces that are natural on the wavelength scale of light can help in creating parallel light ray's incidents. In this tutorial, the reflection law of light is discussed with the use and different types of light reflective laws.

The Law of Reflection

The reflection of light is an integrated part of physics while studying the direction of light. Most of the time, the reflection law has integrated with the factors of the surface and develops the points that are also known as the reference point. Light is comprehended to conduct in a manner that is assumable by creating different factors that are dependable on the rays. If a ray of light can be attended to looming and reflecting on the surface of a flat mirror (Walter et al. 2018).

Moreover, the conduct of the light as it reminisces would observe an assumable law comprehended as the law of reflection.

The Law of Reflection expresses that the angle of the incident ray of light is equal to the angle of the reflected light ray. In order to comprehend what these light rays and angles stand for, the below-drawn image needs to be taken into consideration.

Total Internal Reflection

Figure 1: Total Internal Reflection

The significant part of the law is displayed as a dashed line in figure 1 and it is marked the normal. The normal line is a specifically drawn line to the externals of the mirror that are placed with the mirror at a 90-degree angle.

In the law of reflection, comprehend the angles, the line is utilised as a reference point. Based on the law, the incident angle will be referred to as the reflecting angle where the law states any ray of light will get reflected objects where it strikes (Lesage-Gárriga, 2018). Additionally, the law of reflection defines that the light reflects from different entities in an assumable method.

Law of Reflection

Figure 2: Law of Reflection

Total Internal Reflection

Internal reflection is one integrated part of the law of reflection to justify the critical angle which is critically referred to as the incoming light ray is placed at a 90-degree. Considering a ray of light can travel through a medium for better comprehension, with a higher index of refractive to an interface with a material of a lower refractive index. If the ray contacts the interface at an incidence angle which is greater than the angle, then no ray will be reflected.

This procedure can explain as the Total Internal Reflection (TIR). Additionally, the angle of the ray in the incidence is enhanced further by the refraction angle which will reach 90∘ before the incidence angle does (Nagwa, 2022). Refraction happens according to the law only when the ray of light is shifted across the interface from one to another object. Additionally, Reflection occurs when the ray reflects off the interface and does not leave the first object.

Uses of Reflection

The reflective nature of light is observed in a situation when a light beam occurs to the source of light. For instance, if a flashlight strikes a shiny surface like a mirror, it will create a reflection with the inherited tendency of reflecting toward the source. The reflection law is one of the best examples that is often used in the real world. This is an example of the spectacle of the reflection of light from a shiny surface.

The striking light to the mirror from a source of light is known as the incident light. The reflection of the light by travelling in a new order is known as the reflected light. An incident light also brings reflection when it hits a rough exterior and resulting in a reflection which is uneven (Chegg, 2022).

There are multiple applications of reflection through the mirrors and making the ideal views from the different perspectives.

Application of reflection

Figure 3: Application of reflection

The followings are the reflection of lights according to the law:

Side-view mirrors

The side-view mirrors of automobiles are constructed with the application of convex mirrors. When rays of light cross the mirror's surface, it reflects and assists the driver to see entities on the sides and coming after the car.

Shaving mirrors

The mirrors that get used in the household are constructed by using concave mirrors. When rays of light across the mirror's surface, it reflects and assists the users to view the objects in an overdrawn format to get a better view of the objects.

Reflecting telescope

A reflecting telescope is employed to visit stellar things. It holds a variety of two mirrors and an eyepiece. When rays of light crosses throug the concave mirror's surface, it gets mirrored and lies on flat mirror surface. The flat mirror additionally reflects the incident rays of light into the viewer's eye (Flender et al. 2021). This promotes the astronomer to consider cosmic objects.

Optical Fibers

In different industries such as medicine and telecommunication, optical fibres get used in the work. The utilisation of this helped in the formation of the total internal reflection and the continuous process of reflection of the light rays help to get the view from the walls.


In this tutorial, the law of reflection of light is used in the formation of the different identical things. Moreover, the process of application is huge in different backgrounds that are identical in the creation of different views. The law is stating the angles of the incident rays and the 90-degree angle for the establishment of the different associated factors. Convex mirrors are commonly used in creating sunglasses' lenses.



Flender, R., Kurucz, M., Grosz, T., Borzsonyi, A., Gimzevskis, U., Samalius, A., ... & Kiss, B. (2021). Dispersive mirror characterization and application for mid-infrared post-compression. Journal of Optics, 23(6), 065501. Retrieved from:

Lesage-Gárriga, L. (2018). Plutarch and the Law of Reflection: Critical and Literary Commentary to De facie 930A-C. Ploutarchos, 15, 29-42. Retrieved from: https://impactum-journals.uc

Walter, E., Rosdahl, T. Ö., Akhmerov, A. R., & Hassler, F. (2018). Breakdown of the law of reflection at a disordered graphene edge. Physical Review Letters, 121(13), 136803. Retrieved from:


Chegg, (2022), About the application of reflection law of light, Retrieved from: [Retrieved on 9th June 2022]

Nagwa, (2022), About Law of Reflection of light


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Updated on: 18-Aug-2023


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