A mirror, and how it works
By: Camryn R Last updated: 10/2/11

What is a mirror?
A mirror is a piece of glass. The piece of glass is coated on the back with usually either aluminum or silver. The mirrors surface must be completely smooth or the light will be scattered and won’t be properly reflected.

This is an example of mirrors reflecting other mirrors and their reflection

How a mirror works
The light that bounces off of you travels toward the mirror and gets absorbed by the mirror’s silver coating. The atoms of light that bounced off you become unstable and try and get back to their stable state. To do this they give off new photons of light that travel out of the mirror create the reflection that you see.

This is a diagram of the angle of incidence and angle of reflection

Types of mirrors
Different mirrors create different reflection. A normal mirror that you typically use is called a plane mirror. It reflects the real image and looks about the same distance away that you actually are. Unlike concave or convex mirrors where the object seems closer or father away then it actually is.

This is a picture of a mirror reflecting a drawing

Databases :
mirror." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition.

Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2011. Web. 23 Sept. 2011.


Mirrors and Lenses. Prod. Colgren Communications. Colgren Communications, 2004. Discovery Education. Web. 23 September 2011. <http://www.discoveryeducation.com/>.


Woodford, Chris. Cool stuff and how it works. London:DK , 2005. Print.