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Term: Reflection, specular

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Term: Reflection, specular

Specular reflection is the type of reflection observed when light is reflected off a shiny, glossy or mirror-like surface, where light from a single incoming direction is reflected into a single outgoing direction. Stated in more standard terminology, the angle of incidence of the light ray is equal to the angle of reflection. Specular reflection may occur across the entire surface of an object or only a small portion of the surface. An example of the later is the use of gold gilding on medieval illuminations or the use of gold leaf for ornamental details on fine book bindings. The gold portions produce specular reflections while the other portions of the page or binding produce a diffuse reflection. Most natural objects exhibit a combination of specular and diffuse reflection.
See also:
Reflection, diffuse