When you look at an object, what you are essentially seeing is the light that is either emitted from the object or reflected off the object, entering your eye. So, what you’re not seeing is the light being absorbed by an object. If an object is green, like the leaves on a tree, it’s because all the colors on the visible spectrum have been absorbed except green, which has been reflected. If something is white, it means that all the colors of the visible spectrum are reflected and none are absorbed. Now, wait a minute, isn’t that what a mirror is? Just a surface that reflects all colors of the visible spectrum? So perfect mirrors are technically white, right?
It is practically impossible to create a mirror that reflects 100% of its light. Some light will always be absorbed by the mirror itself. About 5% of the light hitting a common bedroom mirror is absorbed, which reduces the intensity of the reflection. A perfect mirror – one that does not absorb any light at all – cannot be realistically created, as some energy is always going to be lost in the process of reflection.
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