Why do mirrors flip horizontally (but not vertically)?

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Why do mirrors appear to flip images horizontally but not vertically?

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Featuring guest Meg Chetwood @megatronvolley

Thanks to Kyle Kitzmiller
and Veritasium http://youtube.com/veritasium

Music: “Rhythm Changes,” “Locally Sourced”


Jack Moore says:

my brain rrrrgh

Jameel Dar says:

And I realised u have a knowledge of theories but u don't think over it.
I ll give u the correct ans.
We people stand on earth vertically. now if u see ur image when you put urself horizontally and rise ur right hand up which ll at that time vertically up you ll find in mirror that ur left hand is up. It means mirror reflects back the light rays but when we see our mind interprets it as so. Hope u got this question's ans.

Jameel Dar says:

There is no up and down in universe 2nd thing is the photon reflects same side and our brain interprets it right to left. It is backword direction of photons which is responsible for it

Gala Martinez says:


Fidelis Espiritu says:

This woman is a genius!

I put a fair amount of thought into this without coming to the right conclusion. My initial thought, similar to her own, was the effect was due to the positioning of my eyes, similar to her once again, I did a quick thought experiment and realized that did not suffice as an explanation.

Lamar White says:

blew my mind a couple of times

q3dqopb says:

Amazing explanation. I had to watch it twice in order to follow every argument though =)

Rhea Thiessen says:

Girl you just fascinated me. Subscribed

Lineage2MediaCom says:

not true! mirros are doors to other universes!

Lineage2MediaCom says:

a blonde makes a physics channel…
explains the most important thing in her universe: the mirror

A.J Saenz says:

Great not I don't understand mirrors either

ByRecentDesign says:

I would flip you horizontally.

cylurian says:

+Physics Girl My Physics teach never told us that explanation, very nice.

Francois Gata says:

best way to quickly understand is to put a vertical written word in front of the mirror, then the title of this video become wrong, whereas the first sentence pronounce remains exact thanks to "appears"

Vincent O Malley says:

Only a blonde would try explain what a mirror does :D

Bogdan Pirsan says:

dat big ears wtf …

IShouldChangeMyName says:

Short answer "It doesn't". Things on your left are still on your left things on your right are still on your right.

Waleed Arhaan says:

beauty with brain!!!!!!!!

ithacam6 says:

Only a pretty girl would care this much about a mirror!

iRazor8 says:

My every answer in a science test: light only travels in straight lines…

sexy350Zowner says:

much better explained than headsqueeze… and I would've loved her to be my physics teacher :)

friopse hertsa says:

i love you

lkjohnroach says:

does reflected photons flip too? like if you polarize light and shine it on a mirror does it come back through the same polarity or different?

Alexander Inget says:

If you had a transparant paper, Facing yourself, the text would look the same in the mirror, right?

TheReaverOfDarkness says:

Simple answer: mirrors flip nothing, it is we who flip horizontally and not vertically.

DubstepAndElectroFlp says:

3:13 Dat ass :F

Ashis Kumar Sahoo says:

Mirrors do not flip. Its your symmetric body that confuses you.

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