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Practice Problems in Reflection

The following diagrams depict some ideas about how light might travel from an
object location to an eye location when viewed the image of the object is viewed in a
mirror. Comment on the incorrectness of the following diagrams. Discuss what
makes them incorrect.

1.

2.

3.

4.
5. Consider the diagram at the right. Which one of the angles (A, B, C, or D)
is the angle of incidence? Which one of the angles is the angle of
reflection?

6. A ray of light is incident towards a plane mirror at an angle of 30-degrees


with the mirror surface. What will be the angle of reflection?

7. Why do windows of distant houses appear to reflect the sun only when rising
or setting? Use the diagram below to explain, drawing appropriate light rays

on the diagram.

8. A ray of light is approaching a set of three mirrors as shown in the diagram.


The light ray is approaching the first mirror at an angle of 45-degrees with
the mirror surface. Trace the path of the light ray as it bounces off the mirror;
continue tracing the ray until it finally exits from the mirror system. How
many times will the ray reflect before it finally exits?

9. If a bundle of parallel incident rays undergoing diffuse reflection follow the law
of reflection, then why do they scatter in many different directions after reflecting
off a surface?

10. Is it easier to read from pages of a book which are rough or from pages
which are smooth and glossy? Explain your answer.
11. Explain why emergency vehicles such as ambulances are often marked on the
front hood with reversed lettering (e.g., ECNALUBMA).

12. If Suzie stands 3 feet in front of a plane mirror, how far from the person will her
image be located?

13. If a toddler crawls towards a mirror at a rate of 0.25 m/s, then at what speed
will the toddler and the toddler's image approach each other?

14. Six students are arranged in front of a mirror. Their positions are shown
below. The image of each student is also drawn on the diagram. Make the
appropriate line of sight constructions to determine which students each individual
student can see.

15. Ben Phooled is 6-feet tall. He is the tallest person in his family. It just so
happens that Ben learned the important principle of the 2:1 relationship just prior to
his family's decision to purchase a mirror which was to be used by the entire family.
Enthused about the recent physics lesson, Ben decided to put it to good use. Ben
convinced his parents that it would be a waste of money to buy a mirror longer than
3 feet. "After all," Ben argued, "I'm the tallest person in the family and only three
feet of mirror would be required to view my image." Ben's parents conceded and
they purchased a 3-foot tall mirror and mounted it on the bathroom wall.

Comment on the wisdom behind the Phooled family decision.