Difference b/w Refraction and Reflection

Light can sometimes surprise us. It is thanks to it that we can see colors, since our eyes do nothing more than “interpret” the light. Likewise, phenomena related to this occur, such as reflection and refraction. Difference b/w Refraction and Reflection

If you don’t know what the difference is between refraction and reflection, read the explanation we have for you.

REFLECTION Difference b/w Refraction and Reflection

When light comes to hit a surface, a part of it changes direction and bounces (returns to the same direction from which it came); This is known as reflection. The ray that leaves the surface (which is bounced) is called a reflected ray.

This happens not only with light, but also with sound waves . But in the case of light, there are two types: specular and diffuse. Specular reflection occurs when light is reflected at the same angle, while diffuse reflection occurs when light is reflected off a rough surface; it scatters in every direction.


The images that are observed through the glass, among other objects, are the product of refraction. When invisible or white light passes through a transparent material such as water or glass, it changes direction and passes obliquely between two media.

Mirrors use reflection, while lenses use refraction . When you enter a new medium at an angle, the light slows down and this change in speed causes the beam to bend or change direction.

Key differences between refraction and reflection

  • Reflection occurs when light falls on any surface and a part of it is sent back to the same medium from which it came, while refraction generally deforms the image; depending on the angle at which it reaches another plane or surface.
  • In the case of reflection, light travels in the same medium; while in refraction it travels from one medium to another.
  • Mirrors are an example of reflection, while lenses are an example of refraction.

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