# Often asked: How Do Mirrors Work Physics?

When photons — rays of light — coming from an object (your smiling face, for example) strike the smooth surface of a mirror, they bounce back at the same angle. Your eyes see these reflected photons as a mirror image. If a smooth surface absorbs the photons, they can’t bounce back and there will be no reflection.

## How do mirrors reflect?

Light passes through the glass part of the mirror and is reflected by the metal. The layer of paint at the back of the mirror serves a similar protective function, keeping the metal in place. When rays of light hit rough surfaces, they bounce the light back in all directions. This is called diffuse reflection.

## Does a mirror scatter light?

The law of reflection says that when a ray of light hits a surface, it bounces in a certain way, like a tennis ball thrown against a wall. Mirrors, however, don’t scatter light in this way. With a smooth surface, light reflects without disturbing the incoming image. This is called specular reflection.

## Does a mirror show your true reflection?

A mirror does not show what you look like in real life. When you look at the mirror, you do not see the person that other people see. This is because your reflection in the mirror is reversed by your brain. The image that we are looking at in the mirror is not the face that we show to the world.

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## Do mirrors flip your face?

Mirrors don’t actually reverse anything. The image of everything in front of the mirror is reflected backward, retracing the path it traveled to get there. Nothing is switching left to right or up-down. Instead, it’s being inverted front to back.

## What is the normal to a plane of a mirror?

There are several definitions of the normal line of a flat mirror. Normal line is the line perpendicular (at 90°) to the mirror. The normal line is an imaginary line at 90° to where the ray touches the mirror surface.

## Which would light travel through fastest?

Light waves do not need a medium in which to travel but sound waves do. Explain that unlike sound, light waves travel fastest through a vacuum and air, and slower through other materials such as glass or water.

## What happens when a light hits a mirror?

The angle of reflection of a light beam is equal to the angle of incidence. When you look in a mirror, you can see your image because when parallel light rays hit the mirror at the rays hit the mirror at the same angle, they are all reflected at the same angle. This is called regular reflection.

## Is a picture of you how others see you?

One major factor is that photos generally show us the reverse of what we see in the mirror. When you take a photo of yourself using some (but not all) apps or the front-facing camera on an iPhone, the resulting image captures your face as others see it. The same is true for non-phone cameras.

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## Do you look prettier in the mirror?

This is because the reflection you see every day in the mirror is the one you perceive to be original and hence a better-looking version of yourself. So, when you look at a photo of yourself, your face seems to be the wrong way as it is reversed than how you are used to seeing it.

## Is the back camera how others see you?

In short, what you see in the mirror is nothing but a reflection and that may just not be how people see you in real life. In real life, the picture may be completely different. All you have to do is stare at a selfie camera, flip and capture your photo. That’s what you really look like.

## Is the front camera how others see you?

According to multiple videos sharing the trick for taking selfies, holding the front camera to your face actually distorts your features and isn’t actually giving you a clear representation of how you look. Instead, if you hold your phone away from you and zoom in, you will look completely different.

## Do I look the same in the mirror as in real life?

It’s not the real you. Although we’re the most comfortable and familiar with the face staring back at us while we brush our teeth in the morning, the mirror isn’t really the real us. It’s a reflection, so it shows how we look like in reverse. “Looking at yourself in the mirror becomes a firm impression.