Q:

# What is the difference between reflection and refraction?

A:

The difference between reflection and refraction is that in reflection waves bounce off of a surface while in refraction those waves do not bounce back but pass through the surface, which bends them and changes the speed of the waves. The image of a face is reflected back from a pool of water, but the light on the bottom of the pool of water is refracted because it is uneven and hazy due to the way the water bends the light waves.

Know More

## Keep Learning

Credit: Amniart Oxford Scientific Getty Images

According to How Stuff Works, reflection occurs when waves are bent back after hitting a surface. Reflection is necessary to vision. All objects reflect some wavelengths of light. The precise wavelengths reflected and absorbed determine the colors of objects.

According to Dictionary, refraction waves are also bent, but they travel through the substance as well as being bent back. In this way, a pool of water that reflects light and therefore shows the image of a face also refracts that light, causing it to give the bottom of the pool a speckled look. The reason for refraction is that waves pass at different speeds through different substances. The wavelengths of light that determine color are broken up during refraction, which creates rainbows.

Sources:

## Related Questions

• A:

The formation of a rainbow and the splitting of light when it passes through a prism are examples of refraction. A pencil placed in a beaker of water looks bent due to refraction of light.

Filed Under:
• A:

Radio waves are detected using electrical circuits that receive these electromagnetic signals in an antenna, and then the radio frequencies are modulated through capacitors before emerging as sound in a speaker. Radio waves are normally less than a kilohertz long up to 20 gigahertz. Since humans cannot hear these frequencies, radio signals are often translated into sounds by electrical devices.

Filed Under:
• A:

Some of the properties which are common to all electromagnetic waves are amplitude, a characteristic frequency and wavelength, and the ability to travel through a vacuum at the same speed, which is commonly referred to as the speed of light. All electromagnetic waves also propagate electrical and magnetic fields in a direction which is perpendicular to their direction of energy flow. The electrical and magnetic fields are in phase and at 90-degree angles to each other.