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The Science of Personal Finance

What Color Is a Mirror?

mirror, one-way mirrors
One-way mirrors are designed to allow a view from one side. (Image credit: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-575725p1.html"> InnervisionArt</a>, <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/index-in.mhtml">Shutterstock</a>)

A mirror might look silver because it's usually depicted that way in books or movies.  However,  it's actually the color of whatever is reflected onto it. A perfect mirror has specular reflection, meaning it reflects all light in a single direction equal to what it receives. Specular reflection creates an image of whatever object is in front of it. But most mirrors we use aren't perfect. In fact, our mirrors reflect green light, so they often make the objects in them have a greenish tinge.

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Nina Sen
Nina Sen is a frequent contributor to Live Science’s Life’s Little Mysteries series: an exploration and explanation of our world’s phenomena, both natural and man-made. She also writes astronomy photo stories for Live Science's sister site Space.com.