Do two mir­rors fac­ing each other pro­duce in­fi­nite re­flec­tions?

Focus-Science and Technology - - Q&A - SAL SMYTHERS, CAM­BRIDGE

It’s al­ways fun to look at the mul­ti­ple re­flec­tions formed by op­pos­ing mir­rors in lifts, wash­rooms and the like. But while they seem to ex­tend into the in­fi­nite, in re­al­ity they get pro­gres­sively darker and fade into in­vis­i­bil­ity long be­fore they get there. That’s be­cause mir­rors ab­sorb a small frac­tion of the en­ergy of the light strik­ing them each time. Thus even the best mir­rors are un­likely to gen­er­ate more than a few hun­dred vis­i­ble re­flec­tions.

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