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Posted by on Jan 9, 2015 in TellMeWhy |

How Do I See Myself in a Mirror?

How Do I See Myself in a Mirror?

What happens when you look in a mirror? I See Myself in a Mirror? In the daytime, light reflects off your body in all directions. Your skin and the clothes you’re wearing reflect light in a diffuse way: light rays bounce off randomly, haphazardly, in no particular direction.

A mirror shows a reflected image because it has a shiny, silver-colored coating behind the glass that reflects light. When you stand in front of a mirror, light rays move from you to the mirror. The rays bounce off the shiny mirror in exactly the same way they hit it, and you see yourself.

(When a mirror is hit by particles of light called photons, it reflects the photons back to us. When photons hit a smooth surface like a mirror, they bounce back of the mirror at roughly the same angle at which they hit the object, creating a reflection that looks the same.)

Looking at an image of oneself with the front-back axis flipped results in the perception of an image with its left-right axis flipped. When reflected in the mirror, your right hand remains directly opposite your real right hand, but it is perceived as the left hand of your image.

The image that you see reflected in the mirror is always backwards. When a person looks into a mirror, the image is actually front-back reversed, which is an effect similar to the hollow-mask illusion. Notice that a mirror image is fundamentally different from the object and cannot be reproduced by simply rotating the object.

Mirrors are commonly used as aids to personal grooming. They may range from small sizes, good to carry with oneself, to full body sized; they may be handheld, mobile, fixed or adjustable. In ancient times, mirrors were made of polished metal and they scratched very easily. Around the year 1300, the mirror makers of Venice discovered how to make mirrors of glass.

Content for this question contributed by Joe Berry, resident of Charleston, Illinois, USA