Ch 21: AP Physics 2: Reflection & Refraction

About This Chapter

Review all the topics related to refraction and reflection ahead of the AP Physics 2 exam with this helpful course. You can use our short text and video lessons as a comprehensive study guide ahead of the test, or just review the lessons that you know need further work.

AP Physics 2: Reflection & Refraction - Chapter Summary

Our instructors present some of the refraction and reflection topics you'd expect to see on the AP Physics 2 exam in this chapter. You'll learn about plane and spherical mirrors, the thin lens equation and Snell's Law. These text and video lessons are self-paced so you can review even the most challenging topics as many times as you need to. Before moving on to the next lesson, take our multiple-choice quizzes to make sure you've mastered the material. If you like to create study guides to use offline, take a look at the keywords and terms covered in our printable lesson transcripts. Once you complete this chapter, you will understand how to:

  • Explain ray tracing with mirrors
  • Use equations to solve mirror and lens questions
  • Describe light absorption, reflection and transmission
  • Define specular reflection
  • Give the formulas for the angle of incidence and the angle of reflection
  • Utilize your knowledge of reflection, lenses, refraction and ray diagrams in physics labs
  • Detail how thin lenses are measured

13 Lessons in Chapter 21: AP Physics 2: Reflection & Refraction
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Light Transmission, Reflection & Absorption

1. Light Transmission, Reflection & Absorption

Light is an electromagnetic wave that can travel through nothing. In this lesson, we will learn how light travels, and what happens to it when it hits something. Will it be absorbed by a material, reflected off of a material or pass through a material?

Specular Reflection: Definition & Examples

2. Specular Reflection: Definition & Examples

This lesson will define specular reflection, explain how it differs from diffuse reflection, and give some examples of specular reflection: when it is useful and when it is problematic. A short quiz will follow.

What is Snell's Law?

3. What is Snell's Law?

What happens when light travels from one medium to another, like from air to water? The answer can be described by Snell's Law, which is the main focus of this lesson.

Angle of Incidence: Definition & Formula

4. Angle of Incidence: Definition & Formula

Discover what an angle of incidence is and how it relates to light. Then dive further into learning the related topics of incident angles with the reflection and refraction of light.

Angle of Reflection: Definition & Formula

5. Angle of Reflection: Definition & Formula

When light hits an object, it bounces off the object's surface and reaches our eyes. All that we see around us is made possible by a phenomenon called reflection. This lesson covers the definition, angle, types of reflection, and the law of reflection.

Reflection & Refraction of Light: Physics Lab

6. Reflection & Refraction of Light: Physics Lab

This lesson examines what reflection and refraction are and demonstrates how they work using experimentation. You'll be provided with step-by-step instructions on how to complete the experiments, as well as have the ability to complete a short quiz.

Ray Diagrams & Lenses: Physics Lab

7. Ray Diagrams & Lenses: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to explain how lenses work, explain the difference between convex and concave lenses, draw ray diagrams to analyze the image produced by a lens, and apply that understanding to eyeglasses.

Mirrors: Difference Between Plane & Spherical

8. Mirrors: Difference Between Plane & Spherical

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what a mirror is and how plane mirrors and spherical mirrors are different, including the images they produce. A short quiz will follow.

Ray Tracing with Mirrors: Reflected Images

9. Ray Tracing with Mirrors: Reflected Images

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what a mirror is and use ray tracing diagrams, along with the law of reflection, to explain what you see when you look in a mirror. A short quiz will follow.

Thin Lenses: Types & Measurement

10. Thin Lenses: Types & Measurement

We are around many thin lenses throughout our daily lives, but most of us don't really know what this means. In this lesson, we'll explore the measurements of lenses, the common types of thin lenses, and the different ways they affect light.

Thin Lens Equation: Examples & Questions

11. Thin Lens Equation: Examples & Questions

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what a lens is (both concave and convex), list uses of lenses in everyday life, and use the thin lens equation to solve problems. A short quiz will follow.

Using Equations to Answer Lens Questions

12. Using Equations to Answer Lens Questions

After watching this video, you should be able to use equations to answer lens questions, including figuring out whether the image produced by a lens is real or virtual, bigger or smaller, and upright or inverted. A short quiz will follow.

Using Equations to Answer Mirror Questions

13. Using Equations to Answer Mirror Questions

After watching this lesson, you will be able to answer questions on mirrors, stating whether an image is real or virtual, upright or inverted, and larger or smaller. A short quiz will follow.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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