Exhibit: Real Image

Find the place in front of the mirror where your hand meets its own image.  See if you can shake hands with it!.  When your hand is at the very centre of the mirror’s curve its image is there as well.  You won’t be able to shake hands with it!  The mirror in the exhibit is spherical, which means its shape is part of a shiny glass sphere.  All points on the sphere’s surface are the same distance from the sphere’s centre.  In the exhibit, this centre of curvature is about one metre in front of the mirror.  When light meets a shiny mirrored surface, it bounces off.  The angle of bounce depends on the angle at which the light meets the mirror, like snooker balls bouncing off the cushion.  The simplest bounce is when the light meets the mirror ‘head on’.