How do mirrors work? How are mirrors made?

How Do Mirrors Work? How Are Mirrors Made?

PickyKidPix broke her full length mirror, not once but twice. I hope that’s not 14 years of bad luck.  She hated the replacement mirror that my husband installed and wanted to replace it, yet again, herself.

How do mirrors work? How are mirrors made?

This mirror drama got my son thinking and asking about how mirrors work. I was hoping that he could build his own mirror as a science experiment, but it turns out that mirrors are quite complicated to make.

How do mirrors work? How are mirrors made?

Here’s how mirrors work:

When photons — rays of light — coming from an object (your smiling face, for example) strike the smooth surface of a mirror, they bounce back at the same angle. Your eyes see these reflected photons as a mirror image. from Wonderopolis

Here are some definitions from Wikipedia to help in understanding the video below.

Light: the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.

Atom: the smallest constituent unit of ordinary matter that has the properties of a chemical element.

Photon: an elementary particle, the quantum of all forms of electromagnetic radiation including light.

Speed: the rate at which someone or something is able to move or operate.

Now that you (kind of) understand how mirrors work, how are mirrors made? This video starts with the history of mirrors. An amalgam of tin and mercury developed by the Venetians in the 14th century was the foundation for the mirrors that we use today. As you can see from this video, it’s not easy to make a mirror at home!

There you have it: How Mirrors Work and How Mirrors Are Made! I hope you enjoyed this!

How do mirrors work? How are mirrors made?

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. I love how you take an issue and turn it into a teachable moment with your kids. Even, I found this very interesting.
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…Playing from the HeartMy Profile

  2. What a fascinating construction process! That mirror cutting machine is like a giant Silhouette!
    MaryAnne recently posted…California Gold Rush History for KidsMy Profile

  3. Did you know that you could make a simple mirror (no idea of the price!) by painting glass with gallium? (I know this because I did a school project on gallium)
    Cool post! And I really hope that you daughter doesn’t have many years of bad luck to come. ( that’d be pretty unlucky! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
    Erik – TKRB recently posted…BLOG TOUR! Monster Needs To Go To School by Paul CzajakMy Profile

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