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# The law of reflection, the angle of incidence, angle of reflection and the normal all lie in the same plane. What does this mean?

Question #125413. Asked by hithesh111. (Mar 14 12 10:02 PM)

sportsherald

Understanding these terms is easiest with some illustrations, like the ones at the top of http://www.citycollegiate.com/chapter14_Xa.htm.

A simple example is to think of bouncing a ball off a wall at an angle. Hockey players or indoor soccer players do this often to get around a defender, knowing that by bouncing the ball off the wall (boards) at an angle near the defender (angle of incidence), it will reflect off the wall behind the defender at the same angle (angle of reflection). This works best by keeping the ball on the floor, i.e. on the same plane. If you wanted to have the ball bounce straight back to you instead, then you should send the ball straight at the wall- the path of the ball is 90 degrees from the wall face. That 90 degree line is called the "normal," and the angles of incidence and reflection are measured from that normal.

 Mar 15 12, 12:31 AM

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