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  • In this activity, students investigate specular and diffuse reflection by looking into a dark box and shining a torch at various objects, coloured paper and a mirror.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • describe how objects can only be seen if there is a light source
    • explain that diffuse reflection is when light reflects off a rough surface and travels in all different directions
    • explain that specular reflection is when light reflects off a mirror or other shiny surface and that the angle of reflection is always the same as the angle of incidence
    • describe how different coloured objects only reflect certain colours of light
    • describe how different colours of reflected light can combine to produce new colours.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • discussion questions
    • student handout.
      Published 5 April 2012 Referencing Hub articles
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