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Plane mirror HTML5


Any illuminated object reflects part of the light shining on it but only the polished surface of a mirror can render a perfect reflection. The light rays from an actual object bounce off the mirror to give a virtual image. With a flat mirror, the real object and the virtual object are symmetric and appear to be at the same distance on either side of the plane of the mirror.

Symmetry rules at work in the reflection process explain how an image is formed by a plane mirror.

Object A (a teapot) can be moved around, illustrating the symmetry rules at work in the reflection of light rays.

Click and drag the teapot.

Learning goals

  • To understand the symmetry rules in action when light reflects off a mirror.

Learn more

The light rays reflected off a plane mirror obey Snell-Descartes’ laws, which state that the angle of reflection of a light ray is equal to its angle of incidence.
A plane mirror is stigmatic,…

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