Q:

What objects reflect light best?

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Quick Answer

Objects that have very flat and smooth surfaces reflect light the best. These includes things like glass mirrors or objects with polished metal surfaces.

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Full Answer

Almost every object will reflect light in some way. In fact, if an object does not produce its own light it will not be visible if it does not reflect that of other sources.

Reflection works by angles. Light shines onto a surface in what is called an incident ray. The angle that this ray strikes the surface of the object is measured by imagining a line coming out from the surface at the point that the light strikes it, at right angles to the object. The reflected ray moves off the object at exactly the same angle, but on the other side of the line.

There are two main types of reflection. The first is specular reflection. This is when light gets reflected from a smooth surface and produces the clearest results. The other type of reflection is diffuse reflection. This is when the surface of the object is not smooth. In this situation, the light is reflected at different angles that correspond with the different angles of the surface. An example is light the is reflected off water that has slight ripples or waves.

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