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Why is it when I look into a spoon, my reflection is upside down?

Question #7165. Asked by Sara.
Last updated Jun 07 2021.

JSBach
Answer has 6 votes
JSBach
23 year member
187 replies

Answer has 6 votes.
Basically, because the spoon is curved inward. Rays from the top of your face will be reflected going downwards, rays from the bottom of your face will be reflected going upwards, creating an inverted image.

Oct 20 2000, 12:13 PM
shantaram
Answer has 3 votes
shantaram
23 year member
188 replies

Answer has 3 votes.
Reversal of image is the property of reflection of a concave mirror. (Inwardly curved is concave and outwardly curved is convex).



Response last updated by gtho4 on Oct 08 2016.
Oct 21 2000, 8:39 AM
Gnomon
Answer has 4 votes
Gnomon
22 year member
1331 replies

Answer has 4 votes.
The spoon's surface is concave (curved inwards). Concave mirrors give reflections upside down, and strangely the image in the mirror appears to be in front of the mirror rather than behind it. This can be explained using complicated diagrams showing rays reflecting and converging, but at the end of the day the only simple answer is 'that's just the way it is'.



Response last updated by gtho4 on Oct 08 2016.
Feb 22 2002, 3:19 AM
Jeeves
Answer has 3 votes
Jeeves
21 year member
174 replies

Answer has 3 votes.
A difficult question to answer without a diagram. Basically the light rays that strike the top of the curve are reflected downwards and return as the bottom of the image. Similarly the light rays from your face that hit the bottom of the spoon are reflected upwards and return as the top of the image. Have a look in a physics school book and the diagrams should make it clear.



Response last updated by gtho4 on Oct 08 2016.
Feb 22 2002, 3:20 AM
tjoebigham
Answer has 8 votes
tjoebigham
22 year member
264 replies

Answer has 8 votes.
Because the concave shape of the spoon acts like the lens of your eye or a camera, i.e. it crosses light rays at a certain point so that the reflected image is upside down.

Jan 23 2005, 3:14 PM
kaylofgorons
Answer has 10 votes
Currently Best Answer
kaylofgorons
18 year member
303 replies

Answer has 10 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
If you really want to mix yourself up, it would be right side up if your brain wasn't already flipping the image. The lens of your eye inverts images as well. When the image strikes your retina, it is upside down and your brain goes through the trouble of turning it right side up.

Lenses and mirrors work in opposite ways, though. Mirrors bounce light, and lenses bend them. The concave spoon is a mirror and bounces the light in. After the point where the beams cross, they are opposite. There is an exhibit in the Corning Glass Museum where you can walk up to a giant mirror, passing through the focus point. It'll give you a headache in a hurry. At the starting point, you see yourself upside down, and by the time you get up to the mirror you're right-side up again.



Response last updated by gtho4 on Oct 08 2016.
Jan 23 2005, 5:07 PM
avatar
Creedy star
Answer has 6 votes
Creedy star
13 year member
194 replies avatar

Answer has 6 votes.
Your reflection on a spoon is upside down since light travels straight until it hits a curved surface reflecting a different angle

link https://www.physlink.com/education/askexperts/ae43.cfm



Response last updated by gtho4 on Jun 07 2021.
Aug 21 2010, 8:05 AM
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