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CHAPTER 5 : LIGHT

5.1 REFLECTION OF LIGHT

5.11 THE NATURE OF LIGHT

1. Light enables us to see objects

2. The sun, a lighted candle and electric bulb give out light. They are called luminous bodies.

3. Other object do not emit light. They reflect light that falls on them. They are called non-
luminous bodies.

4. Light travels at a high speed. Its speed is 300,000 km per seconds.

5. light travels in a straight line.

6. The light from candle can only be seen if the pinholes lie in a straight line.

7. We mark arrows on a straight line to present the direction of the path taken by light. This
straight line is called ray of light.

8. A collection or bundle of rays is called a ‘ beam of light’.

9. A beam of light may be parallel, converging or diverging.

10. The direction of light can be changed by:

(a) reflection when it hits a smooth surface.

(b) refraction when it passes through a transparent object.

(c) absorption when it strikes a black or dark body.

5.12 Reflection of light on a plane mirror

1. When we look into a flat mirror, we can see our own image. This is the phenomenon of
reflection.

2. The mirror reflects the ray which strikes it.

3. The reflection of light from a plane surface is very similar to the bounce of a ball off a smooth
floor.

4. Here are the important key words concerning reflection.


(a) the incident ray is the ray of light which strikes the mirror.

(b) The angle of incidence is the angle between the incident ray and the normal ray.

(c) The normal is a line which is at right angles to the surface of a mirror.

(d) The ray which bounces back from the mirror is called the reflected ray.

(e) The angle between the normal and the reflected ray is called the angle of reflection.

The law of reflection

1. The reflection of light from a plane mirror obeys the law of reflection:
(a) The angle of incidence , i , is equal to the angle of reflection ,r.
(b) The incident ray, reflected ray and normal all lie in the same plane.
1. Ideas of the same plane :
(a) Both of the diagrams show the image formed by reflection.
(b) The object, image and normal all lie in the same plane.
(c) A ray diagram in figure 5.8 shows that the location of the image is determined
by the intersection of the lines of sight
(d) The image P’ is as far behind the mirror as the object P is in front. P and P’ are in
the same plane.

TYPE OF REFLECTION

1. A sheet of white paper and a polished mirror will reflect the light rays that strike them.
2. The mirror produces regular reflection but paper produces irregular reflection.
3. The reflection of each ray obeys the law of reflection
.
Regular reflection Irregular reflection
Smooth surface Rough surface
The reflecting surface is smooth and flat The reflecting surface is rough or matt.
All parallel rays are reflected in the same All parallel rays are randomly reflected in
direction. different directions.
Example : mirror Example : white paper
Position and characteristic of the image formed by a plane mirror

1. We can see ourselves in the mirror.


2. A picture of you is formed in the mirror and is called the image. You are the object.
3. An image is formed as a result of the reflection of light rays from the object.
4. A real image is one which is visible on a screen.
5. A virtual image cannot be formed on a screen. The image in the plane mirror is a
virtual image. (you cannot place a screen inside the mirror to catch the image).
6. In a mirror, the left and right sides of the image seen are interchanged. The image is
upright and said to be laterally inverted. This is known as lateral inversion.
7. The image in the mirror is of the same size as the abject.
8. An image is formed behind the mirror while the object is in front of the mirror.
9. The distance between the image and the mirror and the distance between the object
and the mirror is equal.
10. Hence, the characteristic of the image formed in a plane mirror are:
(a) Virtual
(b) Laterally inverted
(c) Same size as the object
(d) As far behind the mirror as the object is in front of it.

Ray diagram to determine the position and characteristic of the image formed by a
plane mirror

1. The position and characteristic of the image formed by a mirror can be determined
by drawing a ray diagram.
2. Figure 5.15 shows the formation of an image by the drawing of a ray diagram. It is
based on the laws of reflection of light.
3. Light rays from a candle strike the surface of a plane at points A and B.
4. The rays are reflected at points A and B on the mirror and appear to come from point
I behind the mirror.
5. So, the observer sees image of the candle at I .
6. Table 5.2 shows the steps in the drawing of ray diagram for the formation of an
image by a plane mirror.
Guidelines to draw ray diagrams for a concave mirror

1 Any ray parallel to the principal axis will be reflected towards the focus point F of
concave mirror.
2 any ray that passes through the focus point F will be reflected parallel to the principal
axis.
3 Any ray passes through the centre of curvature C will be reflected along its original
path.

Position and characteristic of the image formed by a concave mirror

1 When an object is placed at different position, the images formed have different
characteristics.

● object between P and F


The image is
(a) Behind the mirror
(b) Virtual
(c) Erect
(d) Magnified

● object at F

The image is

(a) At infinity
(b) Virtual
(c) Erect
(d) Magnified

● object between F and C

The image is

(a) Beyond C
(b) Real
(c) Inverted
(d) Magnified

● object at C

The image is

(a) At C
(b) Real
(c) Inverted
(d) Same size as the object

● Object beyond C

The image is

(a) Between c and F


(b) Real
(c) Inverted
(d) Dimished

● Object at infinity

The image is

(a) At F
(b) Real
(c) Inverted
(d) Dimished

Guidelines to draw ray diagrams for a convex mirror


1 Any ray parallel to the principalaxis will be reflected as if originated from the focus
point F of the convex mirror.
2 Any ray that directs towards the focus point F will be reflected parallel to the
Principal axis.
3 Any ray that directs towards the center of curvature C will be reflected along its
original path.

Position and characteristic of the image formed by a convex mirror

For all positions of object, the image formed is


(a) Virtual (c) diminished
(b) Upright
(c)

Application of reflection of light

Convex mirror

1 Convex mirror is able to widen the field of vision. Hence it is used in a hypermarket to
view and check warranted activities of customers .
2 It is also used at the turning of a winding road to minimise the occurrence of accidents.

Concave reflector

A solar cooker uses a parabolic to reflect solar light for cooking.

Size of a shop

The plane mirror fixed on the walls of a shop can apparently increase the size of a shop.

Make-up

Looking at the image of oneself in a plane mirror helps to correct the make-up and personal

appearance of a person.

Cat mirror

A plane mirror is fixed in front of the driver seat to help to driver to see the rear view of the car.

Periscope

A periscope can be constructed . A far object above an obstacle can be viewed by using two
plane mirrors inclined at 45’ to the horizontal.

Refraction of light

1 Different light colours are refracted at different angles through a prism. This enables the
formation of a light spectrum.