Why are objects in the side-view mirror closer than they appear?

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Author's Note: Why are objects in the side-view mirror closer than they appear?

The math professor's mirror -- his name is Andrew Hicks, BA, MA, Ph.D., by the way -- is worth checking out. Data shows its field of view is roughly three times that of the driver's side mirrors we now use in the United States, and the image distortion it produces is practically nil. The mirror has received attention as a possible product for European markets [source: Drexel]. The inventor says it was inspired by a disco ball. You can read about the science behind it here.

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  • Flinn, Gallagher. "How Mirrors Work." HowStuffWorks. (Oct. 9, 2012) https://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/everyday-innovations/mirror.htm
  • "Image Formation Revisited." The Physics Classroom. (Oct. 12, 2012) http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/refrn/u14l5c.cfm
  • "Math professor's side mirror that eliminates 'blind spot' receives US patent." PHYS.org. June 7, 2012. (Oct. 9, 2012) http://phys.org/news/2012-06-math-professor-side-mirror-patent.html
  • "Reflection and Image Formation for Convex Mirrors." The Physics Classroom. (Oct. 9, 2012) http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/refln/u13l4a.cfm
  • Safkan, Yasar. "Why does the passenger side window on my car state 'objects in mirror are closer than they appear?" PhysLink. (Oct. 9, 2012) http://www.physlink.com/education/askexperts/ae449.cfm
  • Taub, Eric A. "In Defense of Convex Driver's-Side Mirrors." Wheels – The New York Times. Dec. 30, 2010. (Oct. 9, 2012) http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/30/in-defense-of-convex-drivers-side-mirrors/

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