Scientists cover the mirror with a stratum that doesn't hold water

  • Thread starter sitokinin
  • Start date
I'm a high school student.

I heard that scientists cover the mirror with a stratum that doesn't hold water. Thus when you get out of the shower, you can see your reflection into the mirror in a smooth way.

I've been searching this structure. I want to indicate my ideas with composing them. How does the atoms in this system line? Could you suggest me a web site or a direct person to find what the system's strucure is?


Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
As far as I know (which is very little) the idea is simply to first aplly a thin coat of an oil followed by a similar coat of some detergent. The detergent molecules have hydrophilic and hydrophobic ends. The hydrophobic ends bond well with the oil layer, making the hydrrophilic ends stick out. When a water droplet forms on the mirror, the hydrophilic ends stick to the surface of the droplet reducing its surface tension. This causes the water to bead up, rather than form a fine foggy dispersion or layer.

It's not much different from a car wax, I imagine. The only significant difference is that you might want the thickness of the layers to be not much larger than the wavelength of light (less than 0.5 microns thick).
Hmm... I wonder that do the scientists line these atoms just top of the mirrors surface or they line them with an orderly regulation?

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving