How many times can an image be reflected between two facing mirrors?

12 October 2008

Question

How many times can an image be reflected between two facing mirrors?

Answer

Dave - Fundamentally, basically what happens when something hits the mirror light gets reflected. Depending on how good your mirror is a certain proportion of that light will get absorbed by the mirror. Most of it will get reflected. Normal mirrors around the house will reflect about 70% of the light. Really high-quality mirrors they use in optics labs in universities and research places will reflect 99.9% of the light. Basically it just depends how faint you can still see that light. With a normal mirror you probably won't be able to see it after ten or twenty times because it will get so dim. With really high-quality mirrors, maybe several hundred, several thousand times.

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