Refraction and Reflection of Light

Microscopes, binoculars, cameras, and telescopes form images by refracting light or by reflecting light.
The key difference between refraction and reflection is shown below.


Refraction occurs in when light enters a transparent material. Light slows down and changes direction - different wavelengths of light are affected by different amounts - shorter wavelengths are slowed more and their direction changes more.
The animation below shows this effect (
file source


This effect tends to spread out the different wavelengths of light.


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