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Physics Notes: Reflection of visible light 1. Luminous and self-luminous objects

Reflected light: 1. Illuminated and self-luminous objects and transmission of light

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INDEX of physics notes: Light reflection and the uses of plane and curved mirrors

1. Illuminated and self-luminous objects and transmission of light

Self-luminous objects are those that create and emit their own light e.g. torch bulb, the Sun, candle flame etc.

However, we see most objects by the illumination of them from a source of light and the subsequent reflection of that light from the surfaces of the objects we are viewing.

The reflection of visible light from objects allows us see them from evolution's development of that wonderful light sensitive organ we call the eye.

Very few surfaces do not reflect light. Even the blackest of surfaces reflects a tiny amount of light.

White light is a mixture of all possible colours (see prisms - refraction - visible spectrum page).

Visible light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum and therefore usually travels in straight lines at 3 x 108 m/s.

It will take a slightly curved path if passing through a medium of varying density - that's how you get mirages in the desert.

INDEX notes: Light reflection and uses of plane & curved mirrors

Keywords, phrases and learning objectives for the reflection of visible light rays

Know the difference and describing examples and the difference between illuminated objects and self-luminous objects.


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