Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

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					Physical Science                                                Name:
Activity - Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Background:          Reflection occurs when a surface returns light that hits it. Mirrors are good
                     reflectors. In this activity, you will explore mirrors and how they reflect light.

Materials:     two flat (plane) mirrors         penny                        meter stick
               convex mirror                    concave mirror               mazes


1.   Write your name at the top of this page. Have your lab partner hold a flat mirror in front of
     you while you hold up the piece of paper. How do the letters as you wrote them compare to
     their image in the mirror?

2.   Look in a flat mirror. Wink your left eye. Looking at the image of yourself in the mirror,
     which eye appears to be winking back at you?

     Wink your right eye. Which eye appears to be winking back?

3.   Carefully hold two flat mirrors together like two walls joined to make a corner (at right
     angles). Move the mirrors slightly so you see half of your face in one mirror and half in the
     other. Wink your left eye. Which eye does your image appear to wink?

     Touch your right ear. Which ear does your image appear to touch?

4.   Using the same two mirrors in #3 above, put a penny between the mirrors. Hold the mirrors
     at right angles. How many pennies do your see?

     Change the angle of the mirrors. Move the penny. What’s the largest number of pennies
     you can make?

     The smallest?

5.   Have one person in you lab group hold a flat mirror still. Have two other people sit or stand
     on either side of the mirror so that they cannot see themselves in the mirror. The two people
     should then move until they can see one another in the mirror, but still not themselves.
     Where are they located in relation to the mirror and each other? (Describe the angle they
     make with the mirror and each other.)
6.   Hold a flat mirror vertically (or perpendicular) to the floor so that your partner (while
     standing) can see him or herself at eye level. Now, have someone else take a second flat
     mirror and move it below the other mirror, being sure to hold it vertically (or perpendicular)
     to the floor, until the person looking into the first mirror can see his or her feet in the second
     mirror. Measure the distance between the two mirrors in centimeters.

               Distance between two mirrors = _______

               Height of person looking into mirrors = _________

     Does moving farther back from the mirrors change the distance needed between the

     Does the distance between the mirrors depend on a person’s height?

7.   Take one of the small concave mirrors and hold it at arm’s length away from your face.
     Find yourself in the mirror. How does your image appear?

     Now move the mirror toward your face slowly, until your nose is only inches away from the
     mirror. What happens? Describe your image.

8.   Now look into the convex side of this mirror. How does your image appear?

     Now move the mirror toward your face slowly, until your nose is only inches away from the
     mirror. What happens?

9.   Get a copy of one of the mazes. Have your partner hold a plane mirror (or place the mirror
     in a mirror stand) so that you can see the maze in the mirror. Now complete the maze by
     only looking into the mirror. (Try not to look down at your hand!) How difficult was it to
     complete the maze? Why?

10. Observe the object in the “Mirage” setup. What do you observe? What do you think is
    happening here?

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