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Angles of Reflection

When light strikes a mirror it bounces off. This is called reflection of light. When you see the image of your face in a mirror, you are seeing the reflection of light from your face. Light reflects from a mirror at the same angle as it arrives. Below you can see waves of light reflecting off a mirror.

You can think of light as being a kind of wave, similar to the waves in the ocean. The distance between the top of one wave and the top of the next wave is called a wavelength. Different colors have different size wavelengths. Violet has the shortest wavelength. Red has the longest wavelength. Wavelengths of colors are measured in nanometers, or billionths of a meter.


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Click on the slider on the right to change the angle of the incoming or incident light wave. Notice that the incident angle is always equal to the reflected angle.

Click on the slider on the left to change the wavelength of the light.

You can find a fun activity using reflection of light at our Mirror, Mirror on the Wall activity site.

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Last modification: Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014 at 02:24 PM
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