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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Puzzle me this... » » It's done with mirrors (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MR2Guy
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Nashville
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Why do mirrors reverse Left and Right but not Up and Down?

Jason
Question every rule.
There are no absolutes.
Daegs
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???? mirrors don't reverse left and right....

-daegs
edit: ps slightly longer answer:

Mirrors don't reverse, when you wiggle your right finger the rightmost finger still moves in the mirror.

If you take a piece of string and go from your body to the mirror, they will all be perfectly straight towards the mirror(assuming vertical), there is no reversal going on(none of the strings are at an angle or reversed).

normally when we look at a person we are "turning" them to orient left/right rather than reflecting... anyway your right hand is on the right side of the mirror, the left hand on the left... no reversing happening only reflecting.
magicjohn2278
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Isle of Man UK
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Quote:
On 2006-03-18 05:39, MR2Guy wrote:
Why do mirrors reverse Left and Right but not Up and Down?

Jason


Jason, you can't be doing it right! I've tried and it works fine for me... how thick is the card that you are using, did you use the same colour pen? So far my experimentation shows that mirrors are likely to reverse almost everything, the only failure so far has been "TIT" - but that's not a word that you use everyday anyway, so it doesn't matter. (Which hemisphere are you in?)

...Which of course leads nicely to a puzzle question......
MR2Guy
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Quote:
Mirrors don't reverse, when you wiggle your right finger the rightmost finger still moves in the mirror.


If I wiggle my right fingers, doesn't the guy in the mirror wiggle his left fingers?

Jason
Question every rule.
There are no absolutes.
TomasB
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Only because you try to put qualities of a real person on the reflection. The fingers he moves are still your right fingers. Mirrors reverse back to front, along lines perpendicular to the mirror surface.

/Tomas
magicjohn2278
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.. talking of mirrors, here is a real-life puzzle that happened a few years ago...

(Not really a puzzle, more a "by the way"..)

My wife isn't very tall, for arguments sake we will say she is 5'0".

She wanted a full-height mirror fixing flat against the wall, so that she could try on outfits and see her full reflection.

We went to the store that sells mirrors, only to find that most mirrors were 2'0" wide (which was fine), but they only came in heights of 1'0" 2'0" and 3'0".

"They won't do!", my wife objected, "They aren't big enough and I don't want two joined together!"

...so what do you think I did???? (Remember, this really happened.)
Steve Martin
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Got a new wife?
Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein
magicjohn2278
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Quote:
On 2006-03-18 10:40, magicjohn2278 wrote:

My wife isn't very tall, for arguments sake we will say she is 5'0".

She wanted a full-height mirror fixing flat against the wall, so that she could try on outfits and see her full reflection.

We went to the store that sells mirrors, only to find that most mirrors were 2'0" wide (which was fine), but they only came in heights of 1'0" 2'0" and 3'0".

...so what do you think I did???? (Remember, this really happened.)



... so I did the obvious and went to the shop down the road which sold bigger mirrors...




..but they had sold out and only had 3'0" ones left...



... so (ingoring my wife's protests), I bought one of them.


..and fixed it to the wall so that the bottom of the mirror was about 2'3" above floor level.

Much to my wife's surprise, there is nowhere that she can stand in front of the mirror where she can't see her full reflection. She can stand 10'0" away from it, and she can see herself completely, or she can stand 3" away from it and she can still see the same.

Takes a bit of explaining if you can't see why! Stand in front of a wall and imagine your reflection , the same distance from the wall as you are, the mirror doesn't need to go all the way down to the floor.

(Incidentally, credit to Tomas for pm'ing me with the right answer to this! (And it didn't involve any "probability" at all!)) - Assuming that she is 5'0" tall and her eye-level is 4'6" then I could have got a 2'6" mirror and she would still have seen herself in it completely.
Daegs
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Pretty simple, the bottom point of the mirror just has to be at least half her height...

reflections can be thought of as virtual light rays passing "through" the mirror(and the mirror being half distance from your eyes to the thing you are looking at which is why distances are doubled in mirrors((well they are actually not doubled but they are double the distance from object to mirror to eye)))

Anywhere you stand, the midpoint of the line going from your eye to virtual feet are going to be passing through half your height at the mirror... so for 5 foot, 2.5 feet is the right height.


Actually, if you assume 4 inches from eye to top of head, you can shave off another 2 inches from that mirror....
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