Question
Mon January 02, 2012 By: Anuj Dixit

does plain mirror absorbs light?if no then why intensity of image decreases after each reflection?

Expert Reply
Mon January 02, 2012

What happens when you look in a mirror?

In the daytime, light reflects off your body in all directions. That's why you can see yourself and other people can see you. Your skin and the clothes you're wearing reflect light in a diffuse way: light rays bounce off randomly, haphazardly, in no particular direction. Stand in front of a mirror and some of this light from your body will stream in straight lines toward it. Rays of light (which are really packets of light energy called photons, fired in a stream like bullets from a machine gun) shoot through the glass and hit the silver coating behind it (possibly a real coating of silver or more likely something less expensive such as polished aluminum).

How does the mirror reflect light? The silver atoms behind the glass absorb the photons of incoming light energy and become excited. But that makes them unstable, so they try to become stable again by getting rid of the extra energy—and they do that by giving off some more photons.usualy the back of a mirror is usually painted black, covered with wood, or pressed against a wall, so as much light is reflected as possible. Silver reflects light better than almost anything else and that's because it gives off almost as many photons of light as fall on it in the first place. The photons that come out of the mirror are pretty much the same as the ones that go into it.

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