Exploring Reflection Phenomena

Emily wanted to address the use of the word “scatter” with her students. She demonstrated the difference in light reflecting off of shiny surfaces vs. rough surfaces by using a mirror and meter sticks. The students were able to observe the regular way that the light rays moved when reflected in a mirror, vs. the table (rough surface).

Light rays make it directly to student's eye when flashlight is pointed towards the mirror


Mirrors: angles reflect in a regular way (where the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection).
Rough Surfaces: when light bounces onto something that is rough, rays bounce off in many different directions.

In physics, the word “scatter” means that light leaves it's source in many different directions and bounces off a material, or particle, in many different directions.

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