mirror image reversal

From: fjm@antiquaries.com
Date: Sat Nov 06 2004 - 12:19:08 PST

Despite the elaborate discussion on the site, flat mirrors do not
"reverse" right and left whilst not "reversing" top and bottom. Just
try lying on your side, facing a long mirror - your head and feet are
not reversed!

If your right hand is, for example, on the North side of the room,
then the image of the right hand will be on the North side of the
mirror. If the mirror reveresed the image, the right hand would
appear on the South side of the mirror. It clearly does not!

This misconception is due to a semantic problem. When we say the
mirror "reverses" what we mean is the the image we see in the mirror
does not look like the one someone else sees if he/she looks at us


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