Mirrors are reflective surfaces that provide decorations in our homes, allow us to see what is behind us while we are driving, give us a view of the celestial neighborhood through telescopes and allow us to view the microscopic world invisible to our eyes.
There are three types of mirrors: plane, convex and concave. Plane mirrors are flat, concave mirrors are curved inward and convex mirrors curve outward.
The surface of most mirrors is a continuous sheet of plate glass. Other surface materials include polished metal and fused quartz.
Mirror manufacturers coat the backs of glass mirrors with various reflective metals. Some common coatings are aluminum, silver and gold.
Telescopes use combinations of curved mirrors and flat mirrors to collect the light from distant objects and reflect it into the eyepiece of an observer.
Convex mirrors, positioned at intersections in grocery stores, allow people to see around corners. Security systems use them so that a single camera can receive a wider image of the surroundings.
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