We all know that energy can neither be created nor can it be destroyed. No matter how hard we try, we never ever create energy or destroy it. At best we can convert it into a different form or rather —recycle it.
For instance, when we switch on the electric lamp, we are not creating light out of nothing. The CFL is switched on with the help of electricity flowing into your homes from a power plant. But even the power plant doesn’t make ENERGY. It actually extracts energy locked in a fuel like oil or coal and turns it into electricity. Now how did the energy get into the coal? It originally comes from Sun. And so on…
We need energy to do things To begin with, energy has to come from somewhere and go somewhere else when you’re done. If we kick a football, potential energy stored in our muscles is transferred into the ball and makes it fly through air with kinetic energy. When the ball comes down and rolls over the ground, friction steals away its energy and brings it to rest.
Similarly when we stand in front of a mirror, what we actually see is the conservation of energy in action, working its magic on light. Light is energy traveling at super high speed (300,000 km or 186,000 miles per second). Now when light travelling at such high speed hits an object, all that energy needs to go somewhere.
There are only three possible things that can happen when light hits something. It can pass through (if object is transparent), it can sink in and disappear (if the object is opaque and dark in colour), or it can reflect back again (if the object is reflective, shiny and light-colored).
Now you can well imagine the effect of light waves reflected back from mirror (at a speed of 300,000 km or 186,000 miles per second) at you continuously for few hours! This is the reason why we strongly oppose to having a mirror right in front of your bed.
The mirror is built from several layers of wafer-thin materials. The first layer is reflective silver. On top of this are alternating layers of silicon dioxide and hafnium oxide. These layers improve the reflectivity, but also turn the mirror into a thermal radiator. When silicon dioxide heats up, it radiates the heat as infrared light at a wavelength of around 10 micrometres. Since there is very little in the atmosphere that absorbs at that wavelength, the heat passes straight out to space. The total thickness of the mirror is around two micrometres, or two thousandths of a millimetre.
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