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A mirror, reflecting a vase
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A first surface mirror coated with aluminum and enhanced with dielectric coatings. The angle of the incident light (represented by both the light in the mirror and the shadow behind it) exactly matches the angle of reflection (the reflected light shining on the table).

A mirror is an object that reflects light in such a way that, for incident light in some range of wavelengths, the reflected light preserves many or most of the detailed physical characteristics of the original light. This is different from other light-reflecting objects that do not preserve much of the original wave signal other than color and diffuse reflected light.

The most familiar type of mirror is the plane mirror, which has a flat screen surface. Curved mirrors are also used, to produce magnified or diminished images or focus light or simply distort the reflected image.

Mirrors are commonly used for personal grooming or admiring oneself (in which case the archaic term looking-glass is sometimes still used{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Clarify |date=__DATE__ |$B= }}), decoration, and architecture. Mirrors are also used in scientific apparatus such as telescopes and lasers, cameras, and industrial machinery. Most mirrors are designed for visible light; however, mirrors designed for other wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation are also used.


Mirror sections
Intro   History    Manufacturing    Types of glass mirrors    Effects    Applications    Mirrors and animals    Unusual kinds of mirrors    See also    References    Bibliography    External links   

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