Plane Mirror - How Tall?

Horizontal position of the object
-200 cm -5 cm
-80

What is the minimum height a mirror has to be for you to see your whole self in it? This simulation explores that concept. Note that the black dot on the object (red arrow) represents your eye.

Lots of rays leave the top of your head, going in different directions, and reflect from the mirror. The one that reflects from the mirror and enters your eye is the one you use to see the image of the top of your head. This is shown in red. Similarly, lots of rays leave your foot, going in different directions, and reflect from the mirror. Again, the one that reflects from the mirror and enters your eye is the one you use to see the image of your foot. This is shown in blue.

Exactly how tall does the mirror have to be for you to see your whole self? How should the mirror be positioned? Does the answer depend on how far you stand from the mirror?

Simulation first posted on 3-27-2017. Written by Andrew Duffy

Creative Commons License
This work by Andrew Duffy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This simulation can be found in the collection at http://physics.bu.edu/~duffy/classroom.html.

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