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# What is the difference between scattering and reflection ?

Last updated date: 10th Aug 2024
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Hint: Reflection and scattering are two phenomena which we observe in our day to day life. It is because of reflection, that we can see different objects and different colours. Also, without scattering of light, the blue colour of our sky would not have existed.
Formulae used:
$\text{Amount of Scattering} \propto \dfrac{1}{{{\lambda ^4}}}{\kern 1pt}$
This law is called Rayleigh's scattering law and here, $\lambda$ is the wavelength of the light which is to be scattered.
$\angle i = \angle r$ This law is known as the law of reflection. It states that the angle of incidence $\angle i$ is always equal to the angle of reflection $\angle r$

Complete step by step answer:

 Scattering Reflection Scattering is the process of waves getting deviated due to certain anomalies in the space. Forms of radiation like light, sound and even small particles can undergo scattering. Scattering can take place due to a particle, a density anomaly or even a surface anomaly. Reflection is a phenomenon mainly discussed in optics, but is not limited to optics. For light, reflection is governed by the law of reflection, which states that $\angle i = \angle r$ . Scattering is an interaction between two particles. This phenomenon is very important in proving the wave nature of light. Some surfaces fully reflect the incident light whereas some other surfaces partially reflect the incident light. Most of the objects we see are not the objects themselves, but the light reflected by them. For every different surface, the wavelengths of light reflected by them are different. The blue colour of the sky is also because of scattering. This phenomenon is called Rayleigh scattering. It causes the blue light from the sun to be more scattered due to $\text{Amount of Scattering} \propto \dfrac{1}{{{\lambda ^4}}}{\kern 1pt}$ . Particles such as electrons also exhibit reflection. Reflection demonstrates the particle property of matter.

Note:
Scattering takes place due to the wave nature of matter whereas reflection is a consequence of the particle nature of matter.
Scattering happens upon total absorption and emission of a particle or a photon, whereas in reflection the incident particle or wave only bounces off from a surface.
The wavelength of the incident wave can change after scattering, but it cannot change after reflection.