Mystery Of Mirrors

Mystery Of Mirrors

Have you ever wondered why and how does a mirror reflects? Isn't it amazing that mirrors are so accurate? Is there magic behind this? The conventional modern mirror is usually nothing more than a sheet of glass attached to a thin layer of metallic backing. It seems as if mirrors have been around forever in some form or another, but mirrors, as we know it today, haven't been around that long. As early as a thousand years ago, mirrors were still polished discs of plain metal that cost more than most people of that era could afford: Someone who wanted to see his or her reflection had to go look in a pond like everyone else -- and had to stand in line to do it. Full-length mirrors are an even more recent invention. They're only about 400 years old!

When humans started making simple mirrors around 600 B.C., they used polished obsidian as a reflective surface. Eventually, they started to produce more sophisticated mirrors made of copper, bronze, silver, gold, and even lead. However, because of the weight of the material, these mirrors were tiny by our standards: They rarely measured more than 8 inches (20 centimeters) in diameter and were used mostly for decoration. 

Contemporary mirrors did not come into being until the late Middle Ages, and even then their manufacture was difficult and expensive. It wasn't until the Renaissance when the Florentines invented a process for making low-temperature lead backing, that modern mirrors made their debut. These mirrors were finally clear enough for artists to use. Mirrors helped jump-start a new form of art: the self-portrait. Later, the Venetians would conquer the mirror-making trade with their glass-making techniques.

At this point, mirrors were still only affordable for the rich, but scientists had noticed some alternative uses for them in the meantime. 

The modern mirror is made by silvering or spraying a thin layer of silver or aluminum onto the back of a sheet of glass. Justus Von Liebig invented the process in 1835, but most mirrors are made today by heating aluminum in a vacuum, which then bonds to the cooler glass. Mirrors are now used for all kinds of purposes, from LCD projection to lasers and car headlights. 

But how do mirrors work?

To understand mirrors, we first must understand 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. The incoming angle, called the angle of incidence, is always equal to the angle leaving the surface, or the angle of reflection. When light hits a surface at a low angle, it bounces off at the same low angle and hits your eyes full blast, rather than obliquely as when the sun sits overhead. Mirrors don't scatter light in this way. With a smooth surface, light reflects without disturbing the incoming image. This is called specular reflection, also known as the "regular reflection", the mirror-like reflection of waves, such as light, from a surface.

In specular reflection, the incident light is reflected into a single outgoing direction. The angle of reflection in specular reflection is equal to the angle of incidence. Surfaces which are uneven or not smooth are not good specular reflectors because these do not reflect light at the same angle as the angle of incidence. Mirrors made of metals such as aluminum or silver are the most commonly used specular reflectors.

Here are a few facts you should know about mirrors:

● The first form of a mirror was invented in ancient times. It was a small pool of water filled in a dark-colored container. Think of this concept as looking into a fountain as you walk by and see your reflection. Believe it or not, you’re using the world’s first version of a mirror.

● After the water mirror was created and implemented into everyday use, people started making polished volcanic glass mirrors around 6,000 BC. 

● The first polished copper mirrors appeared in Mesopotamia. The polished copper is exactly what it sounds like — but think of it as a polished piece of metal that will let you see your reflection.

● The belief that breaking a mirror will bring you seven years of bad luck origins from Roman times when the Romans believed that by breaking an old mirror you also break your soul. Today, this is still a common belief among most individuals.

● Babies love looking at mirrors. Mirrors are also a good way to practice your little one's visual track.

● Mirrors can reflect sound waves, believe it or not. They are known as acoustic mirrors and were used during WWII in Britain for detecting sound waves of the enemy.

● Glass, the main component of mirrors, is a poor reflector. It only reflects about 4 percent of light which it strikes.

Still curious about mirrors?

Now we know the mystery behind mirrors, why not check this out: Omiro Decorative Wall Mirror

OMIRO Decorative Wall Mirror

A vintage-stylish design from Omiro. Lightweight and high-quality with no distortion, and can be used as home decor, accessory tray, or hang on your wall as an accent to your home! This beautifully designed mirror is one of the best sellers in the mirror world and one of Amazon's Choice. For other available Omiro mirrors, click this link:

Make sure to check out for more mirror styles according to your taste. Remember, a home is not complete without a mirror.


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