# Imagine that you are looking at yourself in a mirror mounted on a wall

• MozAngeles
In summary, when standing close to a mirror, you are able to see a larger portion of your body, from the top of your head down to the top of your shoulders. As you back away from the mirror, the amount of your body that you see in the mirror increases due to the principle of 'angle of incidence = angle of reflection'. This can be demonstrated with a simple diagram, showing how light from different parts of your body is reflected into your eye at different distances from the mirror.

## Homework Statement

Imagine that you are looking at yourself in a mirror mounted on a wall. From where you stand, you are able to see from the top of youre head down to the top of your shoulders.

Suppose you were to back away from the mirror. Would the amount of your body that you see in the mirror increase, decrease, stay the same. Explain. Include a diagram as part of explanation.

## The Attempt at a Solution

I know that the amount I would see in the mirror would increase, but I'm having a hard time explaining why, further more i don't have a clear idea on what my diagram should be. I think it may have to do with the focal point and the image, so any help would be nice thanks.

Let the person be a certain distance from the mirror. Consider a ray of light from the top of the head being incident on the mirror. How will this be reflected?

Now let the person move further away from the mirror and repeat the process.

The only principle to be used is 'angle of incidence = angle of reflection'.

You stand in front of the mirror at any distance.
Light from the top of your head travels to the mirror and is reflected into your eye... that is how you see the top of your head in the mirror.
Light from your feet travels to the mirror and is reflected into your eye... that is how you see your feet in the mirror.
Can you sketch this and see how long the mirror is (and how far the bottom of the mirror is from the floor?)
As grzz says... you only need 'angle of incidence = angle of reflection'

## 1. What is the scientific explanation for why our reflection appears reversed in a mirror?

The phenomenon of seeing our reflection reversed in a mirror is due to the way light travels. When light hits a smooth surface, like a mirror, it bounces off at an equal angle and in the opposite direction. This means that the image we see in the mirror is actually a reflection of the light bouncing off of our face and back to our eyes. Our brain interprets this as our reflection being reversed.

## 2. Why do we look different in a mirror compared to how we appear in photographs?

One of the main reasons we may look different in a mirror compared to photographs is due to the fact that we are used to seeing our reflection in the mirror, while a photograph is a frozen image. When we see our reflection, our brain automatically adjusts and corrects for any slight asymmetries in our face, making us appear more familiar. A photograph, on the other hand, captures a moment in time and may not show us in our most familiar state.

## 3. How does a mirror work to create our reflection?

Mirrors are made of a smooth, highly reflective surface, usually glass, that is coated with a thin layer of metal, such as silver or aluminum. When light hits this surface, it bounces off at an equal angle and in the opposite direction, creating an image of whatever is in front of the mirror. This image is what we see as our reflection.

## 4. Can our reflection in a mirror ever be distorted or altered?

Yes, our reflection in a mirror can be distorted or altered depending on the shape and quality of the mirror. For example, a concave or funhouse mirror is intentionally designed to distort our reflection for entertainment purposes. In addition, if a mirror is not perfectly flat, it can create a distorted or warped reflection.

## 5. What is the difference between a regular mirror and a two-way mirror?

A regular mirror, also known as a standard mirror, reflects all light that hits its surface, creating a clear reflection of whatever is in front of it. A two-way mirror, also known as a one-way mirror, is partially reflective and partially transparent. This means that it reflects some light while also allowing some light to pass through, making it possible to see through the mirror from one side while creating a reflection on the other side.