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# The reflection and refraction of light

### The reflection and refraction of light

A ray of light is reflected or refracted at the boundary of two mediums with different refractive indices.

Physics

Keywords

reflection of light, refraction, reflection, Snell-Descartes law, normal, refractive index, boundary, angle of incidence, ray of light, angle of refraction, angle of reflection, light, optical depth, photon, reflected, optics, physics

Related items

### Scenes ### Reflection

• air
• glass
• incident ray
• reflected ray
• normal
• angle of incidence (α)
• angle of reflection (α´)
• The angle of incidence and the angle of reflection are equal (α = α´)
• The incident ray, the normal and the reflected ray are on one plane.
• air
• glass
• incident ray
• refracted ray
• normal
• angle of incidence (α)
• angle of refraction (ß)
• Snell-Descartes law: (sinα / sinß) = n₂,₁
• The incident ray, the normal and the refracted ray are on one plane.

When light reaches the boundary of air and glass, it is partly reflected, partly refracted.
In the case of reflection the angle of incidence and the angle of reflection are equal.
The incident ray as well as the normal and reflected ray are on one plane. ### Refraction

According to the Snell-Descartes law, when light is refracted, the ratio of the sines of the angles of incidence and refraction is equivalent to the refractive index of the second medium relative to the first medium.
The incident ray as well as the normal and refracted ray are on one plane.

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