Why are reflected images seen more easily at night in a window from inside of the house, whereas during the day they are not?
Asked by: Cristina
It's simply a matter of which image is brighter. The room's reflection is just as bright
in daytime as at night, but that reflection is overwhelmed by sunlit objects outside in the
daytime. An equivalent example with sound waves instead of light would explain why you can
hear someone whispering in a quiet room, but have no chance in a room with your teenager's
boom box playing. The daylight outside is like a boom box, overwhelming the whispered
reflection of the room. When nature turns off the boom box at night, the whispered reflection
is much easier to sense.
Answered by: Paul Walorski, B.A. Physics, Part-time Physics Instructor
'We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.'