Why does a mirror reflect light?

Answer

According to Scientific American, all objects reflect light, but very few reflect light in a way that allows one to see an image like that seen in a mirror. This is due to a certain type of light reflection called specular reflection. This type of reflection doesn't scatter light. Instead, it directs light directly back toward the observer, which allows for a clear image.

Light isn't seen by the human eye until it's reflected from an object. In the case of a silver mirror, a standard glass mirror with a silver-lined back, the light passes through the glass, hits the silver and reflects back toward the observer. However, some light is also reflected back from the glass as well. Since glass and silver reflect light differently, the result is a clear image and an intense reflection of light.

In addition to specular reflection, there are two other types of light reflections: reflected light and diffuse reflection. Reflected light occurs when light beams hit a smooth surface, and the light is then reflected in the opposite direction at the exact same angle. When light hits an uneven surface, however, the light beam is scattered in all directions, which is called diffuse reflection.

Q&A Related to "Why does a mirror reflect light?"
Answer A glass mirror is a piece of glass with a reflective coating on the back side. If a surface is extremely smooth and flat, it will reflect light waves without distorting them.
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Mirrors that we see every day in bathrooms are very flat surfaces that reflect almost all the
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A mirror reflects because the back side is coated with a shiny metal surface. The metal's free electrons interact with light, reflecting it back.
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1. Account for the angle of reflection. Light bounces back out at the same angle that it hits the mirror. Knowing where the light is going to go will allow you to place the next mirror
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