What Happens When Two Mirrors Face Each Other?


What you are about to read is a comprehensive post on what happens when two mirrors face each other. Our research on this subject cut across practical sources, physics theory, and even superstitions. So this post takes a multi-angled approach to examining what happens when two mirrors face each other.

 What happens when two mirrors face each other? If two mirrors are facing each other, the light would bounce off the mirrors’ surfaces repeatedly and form a new image with each reflection. The reflection from one mirror will be reflected by the other mirror back to the first mirror, and then back again to the second mirror. This will give the impression of an infinite series of the same image being reflected over and over again. However, according to physics, the image reflections are not infinite because mirrors absorb a portion of light rays before reflecting them. This creates a sort of self-limiting system where the image gradually fades off with each successive reflection.

 Unlike what many people think, the reflections from opposing mirrors do not continue to infinity. The images reflected become smaller and dimmer each time they bounce off the mirror. Science has a robust explanation of how opposing mirrors interact. But then, there are also superstitions, especially from Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra, about opposing mirrors. As you read on, we will explore science, superstition, and everything in-between about two opposing mirrors.

what happens when two mirrors face each other
Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

What Will You See When Two Mirrors Face Each Other?

What you see from two opposing mirrors are several reflections of light and whatever images are between the mirrors. These reflections get smaller and dimmer progressively until they finally fade off. At the end of the seemingly endless reflections, there would be a greenish tunnel that stretches into oblivion.

 The reason for the several reflections you see is because the mirrors are reflecting images back and forth from one to the other. But then, the reflections become smaller and dimmer each time they bounce off the mirrors. The images become smaller because the mirrors reflect them from a farther distance each time. And they become dimmer because the mirrors absorb some light photons from an image before reflecting it.

How Many Reflections Are In Two Mirrors Facing Each Other?

The several reflections from two opposing mirrors may seem to extend into infinity. But in reality, typical mirrors can only generate some hundreds to a few thousands of visible image reflections. Because the image reflections get smaller and dimmer each time, they gradually fade into oblivion.

 It is quite fun to observe the seemingly endless reflections produced by two opposing mirrors. What’s more, you can see a full image of your back from two opposing mirrors. This kind of mirror arrangement is common in bathrooms, barbing salons, and lifts, among other places. Are you wondering how mirrors are made? Check out this article titled, what are mirrors made of for more information.

Two Mirrors Facing Each Other – Physics

Classical physics explains that opposing mirrors create uniform reflections by electromagnetic waves. But then, these reflections become smaller and fainter due to energy loss from each reflection. This process continues for several reflections, but it’s not infinite. It is limited by size and luminosity, as the images gradually fade into oblivion. In other words, each successive reflection becomes smaller and duller until you can no longer see the reflections.

 In principle, if the mirror has a 100% reflectance, the reflections will have no limits and will continue into infinity. But then, no mirror has perfect reflectance. The reflection coefficient of all known mirrors is less than 1 (that is, less than 100% reflectance). This means that when a light source hits a mirror, the mirror will not reflect all the light. It would absorb some portions of the light and reflect the rest.

 There are three reasons why light and image reflections from two opposing mirrors fade off gradually. Firstly, as we have already mentioned, no known mirror has 100% reflectance. Secondly, in theory, no mirror is perfectly flat. And then thirdly, no two opposing mirrors are perfectly parallel.

Why Do Mirror Reflections from Opposing Mirror Get Greener Further Away?

If you observe the reflections from two opposing mirrors, you will realize that the image will become greener with each reflection. This is because mirrors usually reflect light from the green spectrum more than other colors. So when a mirror is reflecting while color, that color contains reflections from the green spectrum more than other color spectrums. As such, as other colors fade away gradually, the only visible color remaining will be green.

 This is why if you place two mirrors against each other and try to look in-between them; you will see a reflection of green color. And if you were to stand in the middle of two opposing mirrors, you will see your successive reflections as if you were in a greenish-glass tunnel. You can also check out this article that we have shared about what color a mirror is. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Mirror Facing Mirror Superstition

There are superstitions from Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra, among other belief systems about opposing mirrors. The bottom line of these superstitions is that opposing mirrors stream and reflect energy continuously with no means for the energy to escape. And if you are in-between these energy streams, you will experience some sort of energy turbulence that will make it difficult to rest, relax, or experience peace.

 According to these superstitions, you can have opposing mirrors in places like the bathroom, where you only spend a little time. But you should not have this kind of mirror arrangement in your living room, or worse still your bedroom. The belief is that if you sit for long or sleep between two opposing mirrors, there will be so much disharmonious energy that you wouldn’t be able to rest or relax.

Two Mirrors Facing Each Other – Feng Shui

Feng Shui discourages mirror doubling because a back and forth streaming of energy creates disharmony and interferes with a peaceful atmosphere. Too many reflections of energy, according to this superstition, are not good for an area where you sit for relaxation or sleep in. You should, therefore, not have your chair or bed between two opposing mirrors if you want to rest and relax well.

 Feng Shui beliefs even say that a single mirror in your room, if left uncovered, can interfere with restful sleep. The mirror would bounce energy and life force around your bedroom. This is thought to amplify worries and cause restlessness. So even if a mirror will be in your room, it should not be opposite your bed. More so, you should not place your bed between two mirrors facing each other.

Video – FENG SHUI Tips for MIRRORS in your Home

If you are interested in learning more about Feng Shui and its recommended mirror arrangements, you should watch this video. Julie Khuu explains different tips on how to place your mirrors, according to Feng Shui beliefs, to create harmony, abundance, and wealth in your room or home.

Two Mirrors Facing Each Other – Vastu Shastra

According to Vastu Shastra, one mirror facing another mirror will encourage restlessness and causes impatience. As such, this ancient traditional Indian architectural system does not support placing two mirrors opposite each other.

The superstitions of Vastu Shastra about two mirrors facing each other are similar to that of Feng Shui, but its restrictions appear to be stricter. In the case of Vastu Shastra, two opposing mirrors should not be found anywhere in the house.

Related Questions

What Are Two Mirrors Facing Each Other Called?

Two perfectly parallel mirrors facing each other are called an infinite (or infinity) mirror. This name came from the belief that this configuration creates flections that gradually reduce in size and luminosity until they recede into infinity.

However, in reality, there are no perfect infinity mirror systems, so rather than recede into infinity, reflections from two opposite mirrors eventually recede into oblivion. The light fades gradually until the wavelength is no longer in the visible light spectrum. We have also shared this article on how is the Troxler effect applicable to mirrors. You can check out the article to find out more about what the Troxler effect is.

Is It Bad To Have Two Mirrors Face Each Other?

According to science, there is nothing bad with two mirrors facing each other, except you are not comfortable with the optical view of multiple reflections. But then superstitions from Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra say it’s bad to have two mirrors face each other, especially if you will be sleeping or sleeping between the two opposing mirrors.

According to these superstitions, opposing mirrors double the energy they reflect and keep reflecting energy back and forth between them infinitely. As such, the energy stream from two mirrors facing each other will eventually become turbulent and prevent rest, relaxation, and peace. We have also written this article that discusses what a room of only mirrors look like. You can check out the article for more information.

Why Is It Bad For a Mirror To Face Bed?

Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra believe that it’s bad for mirrors to face a bed because the mirror will be reflecting energy to whoever is sleeping on the bed. As a result, the person will not be able to sleep restfully or may even keep awake. These superstitions hold that energy reflections from mirrors can cause restlessness. For more information about this topic, you can check out this article titled, why are you not supposed to sleep in front of a mirror?

Conclusion

If you have two perfectly flat mirrors with 100% reflectance aligned perfectly parallel opposite each other, any light or image between the mirrors will reflect back and forth infinitely. But in reality, this kind of setup does not exist. As such, light and image may reflect back and forth hundreds or thousands of times but they eventually die out.

There are also superstitious beliefs about one mirror facing another. Both Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra discourage placing mirrors with this kind of arrangement, especially in living rooms and bedrooms. These superstitious beliefs are against sitting, trying to relax, or sleeping between two opposing mirrors.

So far in this post, we have presented a broad-range discourse of the physical observations, physics theory, and superstitions about two opposing mirrors. We hope that you found the information in this post comprehensive enough and helpful to your understanding of what happens when two mirrors face each other.

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