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Author Topic: What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?  (Read 6614 times)

Offline neilep

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« on: 20/07/2008 14:30:08 »
Dear Mirrorologists,


As a sheepy I of course spend a lot of time in front of the camera as the paparazzi hound me for my latest 'crotch shot '

I therefore spend quite some time in front of the mirror to make sure I'm still simply super !

Here's the mirror in my sons bedroom!



Nice eh ?....Oh...hee hee..I notice I caught in the reflection another mirror too !

cool !!



So, What exactly is the shiny stuff that makes a mirror ?..Is it toxic ?..Has mirror production changed over the last 100 years ? ...Is the glass absolutely necessary ?...could not a plastic be used ? 



No need to answer immediately....reflect on it for a while !*le groan*

Hugs


Neil
Man In The Mirror

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Offline AllenG

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #1 on: 20/07/2008 14:45:44 »
Silver.
I believe the modern way to produce mirrors is a marvel of industry not unlike the process of making flat glass.
And that is all I know of mirror construction without resorting to Google.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #2 on: 20/07/2008 16:17:57 »
I thought it was aluminium  ???
 

Offline that mad man

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #3 on: 20/07/2008 16:49:29 »
And I though it was chrome.. ???
 

Online Bored chemist

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #4 on: 20/07/2008 18:53:40 »
And I know it can be any of those, also sometimes other metals for special effects.
 

Offline RD

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #5 on: 20/07/2008 18:54:32 »
So, What exactly is the shiny stuff that makes a mirror ?..Is it toxic ?..Has mirror production changed over the last 100 years ? ...Is the glass absolutely necessary ?...could not a plastic be used ? 

Antique mirrors (pre-19th century) use a mercury-tin amalgam which is toxic, (mercury vapour).
http://www.p2pays.org/ref/38/37983.pdf

A plastic surface would deform and scratch more easily than glass, distorting / degrading the reflected image. (Isn't a CD a plastic mirror ?) 
« Last Edit: 20/07/2008 18:58:35 by RD »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #6 on: 20/07/2008 21:21:55 »
How shiny would a plutonium mirror be?
 

Offline that mad man

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #7 on: 20/07/2008 21:36:01 »
Not very as its a dull soft metal I think and has a fairly high resistance so not very good for electroplating.

I remember being a norty child and peeling away a layer on a mirror to see what it was like. One side was shiny chrome and the other looked as though it was copper. If I remember to get chrome to stick it needs a copper layer first.

Its probably done differently now though.

Magic mirror on the door, make my...

er, I'll get me coat..

« Last Edit: 20/07/2008 21:38:39 by that mad man »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #8 on: 20/07/2008 21:45:04 »
Not very as its a dull soft metal I think and has a fairly high resistance so not very good for electroplating.

I remember being a norty child and peeling away a layer on a mirror to see what it was like. One side was shiny chrome and the other looked as though it was copper. If I remember to get chrome to stick it needs a copper layer first.

Its probably done differently now though.

Magic mirror on the door, make my...

... next door neighbour poor?

...bottom not so sore?

...trousers reach the floor?

 :D
« Last Edit: 20/07/2008 21:47:44 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline that mad man

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #9 on: 20/07/2008 21:53:42 »
Trousers was near..... ;D
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #10 on: 20/07/2008 21:58:06 »
I know  ;)
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #11 on: 20/07/2008 23:23:55 »
Traditionally mirrors were silvered using a chemical deposition process.  Modern mirrors are probably aluminised using vapour deposition in a vacuum
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #12 on: 20/07/2008 23:27:32 »
A-ha... caught you out. There's no such thing as a vacuum!  :P
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #13 on: 20/07/2008 23:45:49 »
OK very low pressure you pedant   :P :P :P :P
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #14 on: 21/07/2008 08:03:57 »
 

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #15 on: 21/07/2008 19:01:49 »
They used to use amalgamated tin (mercury and tin) as the "silvering" for mirrors leding to this little rhyme.
'Little Willie from his mirror licked the mercury right off /
Thinking in his childish error it would cure the whooping cough /
At his funeral his mother smartly said to Mrs Brown /
"Twas a chilly day for Willie when the mercury went down."'

There are lots of ways to make mirrors. Cheap ones these days are made by vapour deposition but chemical silvering ( with real silver) is still used.
The original ones were made from polished metal ( possibly polished rock predated these and I guess looking in a pool of water was the first "mirror".)

The copper layer is behind the chrome or silver. It's added afterwards as a protective film (because you can electroplate a thick layer of copper on easilly once the silver is there.)
 

Offline Make it Lady

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #16 on: 21/07/2008 23:30:56 »
When you look out of the window you see the world but if you think only of material things you coat your window with silver. Once you think only of silver the only thing you see when you look out of your window is yourself.

Pause for thought on mirrors....back to your science stuff,it much more interesting!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #17 on: 22/07/2008 07:52:59 »
I conceive the modern way to develop reflectors is a marvel of industry not unlike the procedure of making flat glass.
And that is all I know of mirror structure without recurring to Google.
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What's The Shiny Stuff In A Mirror ?
« Reply #17 on: 22/07/2008 07:52:59 »

 

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