Optical Phenomena

Regular reflection, diffuse reflection, refraction and absorption are optical phenomena studied by Physics.

Reflection on the surface of a lake
Consider a beam of light rays falling on a surface separating two media (1 and 2), which is flat and homogeneous. Ignoring the nature of medium 2, the phenomena of regular reflection, diffuse reflection, refraction and absorption of light occur simultaneously.

In physics, we study these phenomena separately to facilitate the understanding of these contents, which are quite complex.

Regular Reflection

When a beam of parallel rays strikes a polished surface, propagating in medium 1, it returns to medium (1) without losing parallelism.

Diffuse Reflection
The beam of parallel rays coming from the medium (1) strikes the separation surface with the medium (2) losing its parallelism and being scattered in all directions.


Light, coming from the medium (1), crosses the separation surface between the two media and starts to propagate in the medium (2). middle (1).
Refraction of Light


The light coming from the medium (1) reaches the medium (2), however, it does not return to the initial propagation medium and does not start to propagate in the medium (2). This light, because it is energy, is absorbed by the surface.

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