Light Class 8 Notes - Chapter 16

According to the CBSE Syllabus 2023-24, this chapter has been renumbered as Chapter 13.

Introduction to Light

The world as we know it is largely known through senses, and the sense of sight is one of the most important senses. It is only when the light from an object enters our eyes that we see it. The light might have been either emitted by the object or reflected by it. Some of the important terminologies related to light are:

Light is the energy that enables us to see. Light is emitted from a source such as the Sun. The word usually refers to visible light, which is visible to the human eye and is responsible for the sense of sight.

How do we see objects?

Our eyes alone do not allow us to see. Light from a source falls on an object and then bounces off onto our eyes and that is how we perceive it.
Light 1

Laws of Reflection


Light gets reflected off surfaces. Any surface that is really well-polished or shiny acts as a mirror. The phenomenon of light bouncing off surfaces is called reflection.
Light 2

Laws of reflection

  • The ray of light that strikes a reflecting surface is called the incident ray, and the ray that gets reflected back is called the reflected ray.
  • The imaginary line that is perpendicular to the reflecting surface is called the normal.
  • The angle of incidence ∠i is the angle between the incident ray and the normal. The angle of reflection ∠r is the angle between the reflected ray and the normal.
  • Laws of Reflection: Angle of incidence ∠i is always equal to the Angle of reflection ∠r (∠i=∠r). The angle of incidence, the angle of reflection and the normal all lie on the same plane.

To know more about Laws of Reflection, visit here.

Ray Diagram

The path taken by a narrow beam of light is depicted as a ray diagram.
Ray diagram

For More Information On Law of Reflection, Watch The Below Video:

Regular and Diffused Reflection

Regular and diffused reflection

Reflection from a smooth surface like a mirror that follows the laws of reflection is called a regular reflection.
Light 4
Reflection over a surface that has irregularities where it does not follow the laws of reflection is called an irregular or diffused reflection.
Light 5

Image formation in a plane mirror

  • The image formed by a plane mirror is always virtual, erect, and the object and image are equidistant from the mirror.
  • The image formed in a plane mirror undergoes lateral inversion.

Light 6

Difference between the real and virtual image

A real image is formed by the actual convergence of light rays. In optics, a virtual image is an image formed when the outgoing rays from a point on an object always diverge. The image appears to be located at the point of apparent divergence. Because the rays never really converge, a virtual image cannot be projected onto a screen.

Multiple reflections

  • Two mirrors inclined to each other give multiple images due to multiple reflections.
  • When an object is kept between two parallel plane mirrors, infinite images are formed.

Light 7

Calculating the total number of images

The number of images formed by plane mirrors is given by

\(\begin{array}{l}n=\frac{360^\circ}{\theta }-1\end{array} \)


Dispersion of light

  • The splitting of light into its component colours is called dispersion.
  • Example: Rainbow

Light 8

For more information on Rainbow Formation and Prism, watch the below video

To know more about Dispersion of Light, visit here.

Human Eye

Human Eye

The human eye is a spherically shaped sense organ (diameter about 2.3 cm) that gives the sense of sight and helps us perceive colours and depth.

Functions of different organs in the human eye

  • Light enters the eye through a thin membrane that forms a transparent bulge on the front of the eye, called the cornea.
  • Iris is a dark muscular diaphragm that controls the size of the pupil.
  • The pupil is the small opening in the centre of the iris.
  • The lens, which is behind the pupil helps to adjust the focal length required to clearly focus on objects at various distances.
  • The retina is the screen where the images get formed. It is a delicate membrane with a large number of photosensitive cells called rods and cones.
  • Cones are sensitive to bright light, and rods are sensitive to dim light.
  • The optic nerve transmits the electrical signals from the eye to the brain.

Light 9

For more information on Human Eye, watch the below video

To know more about Human Eye, visit here.

Visual Defects

Visual defects

  • Visual defects include the inability to see near objects or the inability to see far objects.
  • In old people, the lens becomes cloudy, a condition called cataract that impairs vision.

Seeing Sans Eyes

Braille system

  • Braille is a system to read and write for visually impaired people.
  • Consists of 63 dot patterns or characters.
  • These patterns are embossed in braille sheets that can be recognized on touch.
  • The dots are raised in order to make it easier to touch.
Also Access 
NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Science Chapter 16
NCERT Exemplar for Class 8 Science Chapter 16

Learn more about the light and its various properties and other related topics, including NCERT class 8 Science notes, at BYJU’S.

Also, Read

Reflection of Waves Human Eye

Frequently Asked Questions on CBSE Class 8 Science Notes Chapter 16 Light


What are the laws of reflection?

The law of reflection states that when a ray of light reflects off a surface, the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection.


How does a rainbow form?

When sunlight hits a rain droplet, some of the light is reflected. The electromagnetic spectrum is made of light with many different wavelengths, and each is reflected at a different angle. Thus the spectrum is separated, producing a rainbow.


What is Sclera?

The white layer of the eye that covers most of the outside of the eyeball is called the Sclera.


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