Friday, September 30, 2005

When you look at

a mirror, what colors do you

How is it that we can distin-
quish between the accurate
colors & its silveriness, both
at the same time?


Anonymous said...

Calm, clear water is a mirror and it has no silver.

Dr. Thursday said...

Indeed, "Water has no color of its own."
-- Wendon Blake, Oil Landscape Painting Step By Step, page 19

Water, in its humility, comes very close to being a perfect reflector: any vibrations, even at the thermal level, can cause imperfections in its surface. Moreover, it is also transparent, so you will see whatever is on its other side. (Some of the incident light is being either transmitted or absorbed.)

To the extent that the mirror is not a "perfect reflector" the light hitting it bounces off without irregularly - that is, it does not reproduce an image of the original. Hence a "silver" mirror will look like silver - it may really be silver, mercury, aluminum, or other metals; a gold or copper mirror will look like them! (that is, in their rough or unpolished state.)

This is why one of the titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary is "Mirror of Justice" - she is "the perfect reflector" of God, in which He sees Himself without any blemish.

rhapsody said...

(Was not very good in biology, but don't we also consist mainly of water?)
So water, as a reflector, is technically as clear as glass, which can also reflect images.
And our eyes can distinguish the metal color beneath the glass separately from the colors reflected off the glass...

He did a good job with us!

Thank you both!


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