Specular and Diffusion Reflection-How Light Reflects

Monday, July 6, 2020

Do all objects reflect light the same way?

From this picture, you can tell that shiny and dull objects reflect light in different ways.

Specular and diffuse reflection

Let’s take a look at the difference between specular reflection and diffuse reflection.
  • Specular reflection reflects all light that arrives from a given direction at the same angle. 
  • Diffuse reflection reflects light in many different directions.
When light reflects off a shiny object like a mirror, the light reflects at the same angle.
This is an example of specular reflection.
 The law of reflection that states that the angle of reflection of a ray equals the angle of incidence.

When light reflects off a dull object, the reflection looks the same regardless of the angle.

This is an example of diffuse reflection. During diffuse reflection, the light is scattered in many different directions.

 The ray of incidence is light traveling from the source and the ray of reflection is the light after it strikes the surface.

A line perpendicular is surface normal and it is perpendicular from the point the line ray strikes the surface.
law reflection light

You can measure the angles from normal.

Normal is at 0 the angle is 30 degrees for the ray of the incident and the ray of reflection so they have an angle measure of 30 degrees. Always measure from normal.


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