Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Into the looking glass...
  (+9, -1)(+9, -1)
(+9, -1)
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When I was a kid we had a triple mirror in our bathroom. The two outer mirrors were hinged to hide medicine cabinets and when opened inwardly until they almost touched the reflections of my eyeball would appear to recede into infinity or at least until the reflections turned a curved corner, sort of a vertical horizon. The effect makes the infinite images seem to go in a circle and end up right back where they started.
I used to pretend that the image of myself in the mirror was me in another reality so close to this one that the 'me' in that world was doing the exactly the same thing as the 'me' in this one and that the mirror wasn't there at all but that it only felt solid because both 'me's were doing the same thing at the same time.
When I closed the mirrors so that only my eye ball showed, there appeared to be infinite 'me's and I wondered if the 'me's around that vertical horizon weren't just a bit different from the 'me' I could see in the closest realities on this side of the bend.

The house my family and I live in now has the same medicine cabinet set up in the bathroom and it jogged this memory from childhood earlier today.
Now, the rational adult part of my brain knows that this isn't real and that all I'm seeing are reflected photons but the kid in me insists that light doesn't give two shits about our rules and unless a way could be found to look around that corner and confirm that the image remains just an inversion of an inversion ad infinitum then the possibility still exists.

An electron microscope image of the reflections in the farthest eyeball should re-invert this vertical horizon as we look smaller and smaller allowing a tiny glimpse into divergent realities within the multiverse.

Well would ya look at that, the three thousand and ninth 'me' has brown eyes!


       This reminds me of a classic Charles Addams cartoon where a man is sitting in a barbershop between two mirrors, and in one of the many reflections, he is replaced by a monster.
DrWorm, Jan 26 2010

       An electron microscope would just provide an image of the surface of the glass. I think what you need is a telescope.
rcarty, Jan 26 2010

       I wondered which kind of scope. I figured micro because you are not really looking far away, just very small on a two dimensional surface. Unless the length of time it takes the light to travel makes it a distance thing.   

       Despite not knowing what the correct apparatus is, one thing is definitely for certain: this simple visual phenomena holds the secret to all of life's mysteries, and only once we can gaze into it's furthest-most depths will we be able to ascertain that which we previously had not ascertained.
rcarty, Jan 26 2010

       // Unless the length of time it takes the light to travel makes it a distance thing.//   

       You're indirectly correct, presumably by sheer chance.   

       The focal length of my maksutov-cassegrain is much more than it's physical length.   

       But it would, indeed, be a telescope that you would need.   

MikeD, Jan 26 2010

       I wonder why it curves.
bungston, Jan 26 2010

       \open flood gate\ but do you know why the mirror reflects left-right and not top-bottom? \ofg
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 26 2010

       ummm, I have no idea why it curves, some kaleidoscopic math thing coupled with angle of observation would be my guess. I imagine that if the mirrors swung on a horizontal axis then the curvature wold follow suit upwards or downwards rather than left to right.   

       I don't think it curves so much as each successive image is appearing rotated about the axis formed where the two actual mirrors meet (or would meet if projected) by the same angle between said mirrors. I can't think it through definitively, though due to severe lack of sleep.
MikeD, Jan 27 2010

       Mirrors don't reflect left/right. Our brains do. Hold a transparency, read it, if it's in English, the text will read from the left to right. Turn it around 180 degrees, the transparency is still exactly the same, but if you look at the back of it, it will appear reversed.   

       The mirror shows you the front when it is facing away from you, which of course is reveresed.
MechE, Jan 27 2010

       //if it's in English, the text will read from the left to right// Not necessarily, only if you have it up the right way.
pocmloc, Jan 27 2010

       // Mirrors don't reflect left/right. Our brains do //   

       Sort of -- our brain is responsible for misunderstanding the change, but it really is the mirror making the change. Mirrors reflect front to back, so you do end up with a mirror object that's fundamentally not the same -- it won't match the original object no matter which way you rotate it -- and that mismatch is equally true whether you're trying to rotate around a vertical axis or horizontal or whatever.   

       The reason left-right comes into play is that if you are looking at e.g. a sign with forwards letters, and then you turn it around to hold it up to a mirror -- turning it around the vertical axis, because that's how you would do it if you were showing the sign to someone else -- *you* have just reversed the left and right sides. As [MechE] says, if you could see through it, you'd be seeing the letters reversed anyway without the mirror. But the mirror is now showing you what's on the back (side furthest from you) as if it were the front (side closest to you).   

       So the mirror reverses top-to-bottom in exactly the same way that it reverses left-to-right: by keeping everything exactly where it was, but swapping front and back. If I stand there and look at my own reflection, his head is at the same level as mine but it's facing the other way. If mirror-me steps out of the mirror and grabs hold of a horizontal bar (i.e. an axis perpendicular to the top-to-bottom direction we're interested in) and rotates around it until he's facing the same way I'm facing, then his feet and head will have changed places with mine.
hob, Jan 27 2010


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