Question

With the help of diagrams, explain the difference between regular and irregular reflection.

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Answer

Regular reflection — It occurs when a beam of light falls on a smooth and polished surface, such as a plane mirror. In the figure shown below, a parallel beam of light is incident on a plane mirror. The reflected beam is also parallel and it is in a fixed direction. It can be seen only from a particular direction.

Regular Reflection

Irregular reflection — It occurs when a beam of light falls on a rough or ordinary surface such as the walls of a room or the page of a book which appear smooth but have many small projections over it.

In the figure given below, light rays fall at different points on a rough surface and each ray gets reflected from it obeying the laws of reflection of light. Due to uneven surface at different points, light rays gets reflected in different directions and give rise to diffused or irregular reflection.

irregular reflection concise physics solutions icse class 9 981x1079 1

As a result, reflected light spreads over a wide area and it does not follow a particular direction. Hence, reflected light can be seen from anywhere.

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