Mirror image left-right reverrsal anomally

United States
February 15, 2007 11:57am CST
Why does a mirror produce a left-right image reversal but not a top-bottom reversal. I've noticed that orientation of the reflected object makes no difference in that the reversal persistantly occurs in the horizontal plane. Additionally, viewer orientation seems to make no significant difference. Why? Sincerely, Jeff
1 response
• United States
15 Feb 07
Hi Jeff, I used to wonder about this, too. Then, I realized that the mirror doesn't reverse the image; we do. For example, look at something in your room without a mirror. Then, turn around and use a mirror to look at the same thing. The mirror didn't reverse the image; you did when you turned around. The same thing happens when you look through your rear-view mirror and see the word "Ambulance." They print it in reverse, because two negatives make a positive. You look in the mirror and see what is behind you, as if you'd turned around (1 negative). They printed the word in reverse (1 negative). The result (2 negatives= 1 positive) is being able to read it properly. All the best, JD
15 Feb 07
That's a very good reply! deserve ++ :) I would never have thought abput it in those terms.