What Color Is A Mirror? | Summary and Q&A

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August 3, 2012
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Vsauce
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What Color Is A Mirror?

TL;DR

Mirrors are technically a tiny bit green, while our eyes perceive colors based on interference and scattering of light.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why are mirrors often depicted as silver?

Mirrors are often depicted as silver because they are made from silvery materials like aluminum, but in reality, mirrors reflect the color of whatever they point at.

Q: Why do sticky notes appear orange?

Sticky notes appear orange because they absorb every other wavelength of visible light and only reflect back the orange light, which then enters our eyes.

Q: Do real-world mirrors have a color?

Yes, real-world mirrors have a slight green tint. They reflect light within the 510 nanometer range, which we perceive as green light.

Q: Why are our eyes blue if they don't absorb blue light?

Our eyes appear blue because the iris contains a layer where light can be scattered, similar to how the sky scatters blue light. This scattering process makes our eyes appear blue.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Mirrors, although often depicted as silver, are actually the color of whatever they reflect.

  • Sticky notes appear orange because they absorb every wavelength of light except for orange, which they reflect back.

  • Real-world mirrors have a slight green tint due to their reflection properties and the absorption of light.

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