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I look at what TIR is and then what reflection is - when the angle of incidence and the angle of election are the same. And TIR is when the angle of incidence is greater than the critical angle. TIR reflects with the angle of incidence=angle of refraction which is the same as reflection. are they both the same thing?

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  • $\begingroup$ If you have tir then there is no refraction. This occurs if the light is going from a region of low optical density to a region of higher optical density and the angle of incidence is greater than the critical angle. The angle of reflection is always equal to the angle of incidence. $\endgroup$
    – Farcher
    May 31, 2016 at 18:21

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Total Internal Reflection is an example of reflection. In TIR and other forms of reflection (e.g. reflection off of a mirror or other barrier) the angle of incidence will be equal to the angle or reflection. You wrote "TIR reflects with the angle of incidence=angle of refraction." I'm not sure if this is a typo or if this is what you intended but "refraction" in that sentence should read "reflection" - there is no refraction in the case of TIR.

All TIR is reflection but not all reflection is TIR so in that sense they are not the same thing.

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