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Thread: Mirrors

  1. #1 Mirrors 
    Forum Freshman Aero's Avatar
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    (I posted this in this section because I couldn't find any other appropriate section for this, please move this if there's a section that's better...)


    Suppose you're in a room with on 1 side a mirror. On the opposite side, there's another mirror. If you look into one of these mirrors, you keep seeing the reflection on and on, until it's too small...

    Now I'm wondering, why does it always becomes smaller and smaller? Isn't the reflection suppose to be the same as what is being reflected? Or does the angle of your eye and the mirror make a difference?

    (I'm also sorry if my English isn't completely understandable )


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. Hanuka's Avatar
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    I think it's because of the distance between the 2 mirrors that cut the "image"
    in size(make it smaller).

    I'd also like to add a question in that matter:
    If I put an extreme scope to look at the mirror(like the ones that are used to
    examine planets for instence), will I get to see like millions of reflections
    untill the scopes range will "run out"??


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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman Aero's Avatar
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    I could try that out as I have such a scope, I don't have a room with 2 mirrors on opposite sides however

    Thanks already for your respond!
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  5. #4  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
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    Just draw it out. Things look smaller in the distance because the angle between the two extremes of the object (top and bottom, for example) gets smaller as it gets farther away. When using a mirror, the same thing happens. And yes, with a scope or binoculars or any other magnification device, the effect would be offset somewhat.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman Aero's Avatar
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    So basically the distance keeps getting bigger, making everything going smaller?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
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    More or less. (Umm... three words doesn't make much of a post, but I'm not sure what else to say at the moment. :P)
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  8. #7  
    Forum Freshman Aero's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks for your answer !
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  9. #8  
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    Try this thought experiment. Use a crayon to draw a figure on one mirror. Stand in front of the other mirror, or better yet stand behind and make a peephole in the silver backing. This will keep your head from getting in the way.

    As you look directly at the picture you drew, think of the rays of light that go from the top of the picture to your eye and from the bottom to your eye. These rays form an angle proportional to the height of the figure and inversely proportional to the distance.

    Now imagine the rays of light that form the first virtual image. The ray from the top of the figure goes to a point on the back mirror 1/3 of the way down toward your eye, then to the front mirror 2/3 of the way down, then to your eye. The ray from the bottom of the image follows a similar path. These two rays meet at an angle 1/3 the angle subtended by the actual image; therefore the virtual image looks 1/3 as big.

    The next virtual image will be 1/5, then 1/7 and so on.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Freshman Aero's Avatar
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    That's nicely explained, I can now see why it always becomes smaller, thanks for your response !
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