For an excellent video explanation of the laws of reflection, click here.
The laws of reflection state two things:
- The angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection; and
- The incident ray, the reflected ray, and the normal all lie in the same plane.
There are two types of reflection:
The light ray model of specular reflection looks like this:
Diffuse Reflection: This is the reflection off a dull or irregular surface, such as off a rippled lake or a crumpled piece of aluminum foil.
The light ray of diffuse reflection looks like this:
The light rays are reflected in order, but the rough surface reflects them in different directions, so the reflected image makes no sense.