Can reflection and refraction occur at the same time?If the answer is yes then how?

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nessus's profile pic

nessus | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

This happens everytime you look through a window. A person  on the other side can see you so light rays from you have been transmitted through the glass which means they must also have been refracted (had their speed changed). You can also see your reflection in the window

ndnordic's profile pic

ndnordic | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

I think you mean can reflection and refraction occur at the same time. If this  is your question, the answser is yes. You can see this if you use a laser light and shine it at the surface of a container of water. As you vary the angle at which you shine the light on the water you should see some light reflecting off at the same angle as you are using. (law of reflection).  Some of the light will also enter the water and be bent (refracted) as it changes speed.  The water is acting both as an imperfect mirror as well as an air/liquid interface.

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