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Author Topic: Why isn't paper reflective like a mirror?  (Read 2414 times)

Ayush Panwar

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Why isn't paper reflective like a mirror?
« on: 13/01/2011 22:30:03 »
Ayush Panwar asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Why can't we see our own image on a sheet of paper?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 13/01/2011 22:30:03 by _system »


 

Offline QuantumClue

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Why isn't paper reflective like a mirror?
« Reply #1 on: 13/01/2011 22:37:24 »
Paper absorbs too much light for it reflect an image correctly.
 

Offline yor_on

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Why isn't paper reflective like a mirror?
« Reply #2 on: 14/01/2011 00:36:39 »
When the light hits the paper it breaks up in all kind of angles, and the light that reflect back to you have little coherence. Think of a glass bottle, it will reflect your face. Then crush the glass into a powder, and look at it. It will seem white to you, and no more reflect any mirror image. Snow looks white for much the same reason,  its light is partially reflected by the snow crystals.  The incident light bounces around and scatters back to you, and since all colors are scattered roughly equally well, the snow will seem white. Different surfaces absorbs different spectra, and do it to a greater or lesser degree. Ice for example absorbs red more easily than blue and so snow can at times look blue to you.
« Last Edit: 14/01/2011 00:40:53 by yor_on »
 

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Why isn't paper reflective like a mirror?
« Reply #2 on: 14/01/2011 00:36:39 »

 

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