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The presenter discusses how some coloured clothing reflects more light than other colours. While retroreflective safety clothing and signs do not appear particularly visible when viewed from the side, they reflect a great deal of light when viewed from near the light source.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
17 May 2007

Classroom Ideas

This clip could be used as an introduction to reflection. Ask students to explore a range of reflective materials. Bring them into class, find a dark space and test them out.
Having already studied sound waves, discuss reflective and non-reflective materials in more detail, relating them to materials that reflect or absorb sound. Students could produce diagrams explaining what happens in diverse situations, describing the amount of light that is reflected and the amount absorbed. This could be related to colour and the spectrum.
Measure of temperature increase could be used to back up the idea. Clear and black ice cubes could be exposed to sunlight or another light source and the time it takes for them to melt compared. The black ice melts more quickly as it absorbs more light and therefore more energy.

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