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You will need:

  1. a small ball (a tennis ball or a table tennis ball is perfect)
  2. a smooth surface, like the floor inside the classroom
  3. a very rough surface, like a rocky piece of ground


  1. Bounce the ball on the smooth floor and observe what happens.
  2. Bounce the ball on the rough ground floor and observe what happens.
  3. What do you observe?
  4. What is the difference between the two surfaces?


You should have seen that the ball bounces (is reflected off the floor) in a predictable manner off the smooth floor, but bounces unpredictably on the rough ground.

The ball can be seen to be a ray of light and the floor or ground is the reflecting surface. For specular reflection (smooth surface), the ball bounces predictably. For diffuse reflection (rough surface), the ball bounces unpredictably.


  1. The diagram shows a curved surface. Draw normals to the surface at the marked points.
  2. Which of the points, A–H, in the diagram, correspond to the following:
    1. normal
    2. angle of incidence
    3. angle of reflection
    4. incident ray
    5. reflected ray
  3. State the Law of Reflection. Draw a diagram, label the appropriate angles and write a mathematical expression for the Law of Reflection.
  4. The diagram shows an incident ray I . Which of the other 5 rays (A, B, C, D, E) best represents the reflected ray of I ?
  5. A ray of light strikes a surface at 15 to the surface normal. Draw a ray diagram showing the incident ray, reflected ray and surface normal. Calculate the angles of incidence and reflection and fill them in on your diagram.
  6. A ray of light leaves a surface at 65 to the surface. Draw a ray diagram showing the incident ray, reflected ray and surface normal. Calculate the angles of incidence and reflection and fill them in on your diagram.
  7. Explain the difference between specular and diffuse reflection.
  8. We see an object when the light that is reflected by the object enters our eyes. Do you think the reflection by most objects is specular reflection or diffuse reflection? Explain.
  9. A beam of light (for example from a torch) is generally not visible at night, as it travels through air. Try this for yourself. However, if you shine the torch through dust, the beam is visible. Explain why this happens.


In the previous sections we studied light reflecting off various surfaces. What happens when light passes through a medium? The speed of light, like that of all waves, is dependent on the medium in which it is travelling. When light moves from one medium into another (for example, from air to glass), the speed of light changes. The effect is that the light ray passing into a new medium is refracted , or bent. Refraction is therefore the bending of light as it moves from one optical medium to another.


Refraction is the bending of light that occurs because light travels at different speeds in different materials.

Questions & Answers

do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Mueller Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Maths test. OpenStax CNX. Feb 09, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11236/1.2
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