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Why Mirror Reverses Things Horizontally But Not Vertically?

Passenger safety is always the biggest concern for car manufacturers. They make every effort possible to make rides safer. One can easily find numerous safety features in the vehicles. Be it the seat belts, airbags, powerful braking system or the rear view mirrors. These features offer not only the protection but also enhance the driving experience. Mirrors are the traditional safety feature in automobiles. It is easier to identify the vehicles coming from behind in the rear-view mirror. But do you ever wonder why mirror reverses things horizontally but not vertically? If yes, then let us find the answer to your question below.

The position of object and mirror matter the most while explaining this question. The original object remains in the same position but the image reveres to the axis. The left-right reversal in the shape of the object can be due to two different coordinates.

Let us find a little more to clarify this confusing statement here.

Why Mirror Reverses Things Horizontally But Not Vertically?

Rear view mirrors in the vehicles are plane mirrors of a special category. You see things closer and a little larger in these mirrors. A plane mirror reverses image left to right but not top to bottom. People often refer to this statement as Mirror Puzzle. It is because the mirror image reverses while the original object remains at the specific position. The coordinate systems and axis play an imperative role in reversing the mirror images horizontally.

One might notice that a car mirror reverses the images of behind cars horizontally. For instance, the word ‘Ambulance’ is written in reverse order so that other drivers can read it correctly. A plane mirror reverses the image perpendicular to its axis. That is why the image turns around in the mirror. Thus we can say mirror reverses things horizontally but not vertically.

Mirror reverses things horizontally but not vertically- Revealed
You see things closer and a little larger in these mirrors

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The Mirror Reverses Things Horizontally But Not Vertically?

The plane mirror of an automobile flips the image along its z-axis. When you move your right hand in front of the mirror, it reverses the image direction. But the position of the moving hand remains the same. Differentiating between the two moving hands becomes difficult when the image swaps in the mirror. According to the professional driving tips, the plane mirrors never swap the image top-down. One might not be able to drive properly if the cars behind you turn upside down.

The mirrors work with a proper symmetry. An image in the mirror seems swap when we are perpendicular to it. A mirror always reflects left-right image instead of top-down. You will never notice yourself upside down while looking in the mirrors. The statement mirror reverses things horizontally but not vertically is true. Switching images in the mirrors always go in a left-right direction.

Do mirror reverses things horizontally but not vertically?
The mirrors work with a proper symmetry

The Final Thoughts

There you have it! That is all about your why mirror reverses things horizontally but not vertically question. Hopefully, this gives you a complete understanding of all the terms and coordinates. Make sure to notice everything going reverse for the next time you are on a long drive.