Mirror Room Puzzle (Thought Experiment) [closed]

You are in a room with a barrier in the middle. This is not a physical barrier; it is a dividing line of 2 mirror images. When you look across the room, it appears to be a mirror because you see a mirror image of yourself and other objects in the room, but the mirror is not made of any substance. It is simply a point where anything past it is an exact mirror of all things on the other side. For example, if you were to walk forwards, you would not be able to cross the dividing line because you would walk into yourself walking forwards. If you were to try to punch your mirror image, you would punch it in the fist while they simultaneously punch you in the exact same spot, probably resulting in a broken hand for both you and your mirror image. If you were to try to push any object through the mirror line, it would collide with its mirror object and would not be able to pass. Is it possible for you or any other physical matter to cross the mirror line (without introducing "magical" phenomenons such as teleportation)?

• I suspect (but can't prove) that photons and electrons may be able to pass through due to quantum effects Oct 9, 2014 at 0:32
• For practical purposes, let's allow photons to pass through the mirror line because otherwise, you wouldn't be able to see your mirror image. Oct 9, 2014 at 0:33
• Photons passing through is equivalent to bouncing, due to the ants-on-a-stick principle.
– user88
Oct 9, 2014 at 0:54
• Do you have a specific answer in mind? E.g. is this a puzzle or a thought experiment? Oct 9, 2014 at 4:12
• This question appears to be off-topic because it is about physics. Oct 13, 2014 at 11:07

Basically the mirror line is a physical equivalent of an ideal wall, which can react to any force you apply to it with the same, but opposite force.
A physical object can not cross a wall, especially an ideal wall. So my answer is no.

• This seems to be the case. If I can't find any other possible answers within a few days, I will mark this as the answer. Oct 9, 2014 at 16:09
• @Santiago So there isn't an actual right answer to the question? Nov 6, 2014 at 21:06

Create a strong magnetic field at the mirror surface. North is up, south is down. Fire an electron beam at the mirror through the field. Electrons from either side will be deflected anti clockwise (as seen from above) and will miss each other, passing through the mirror.

• Nice, but it does imply that either the mirroring proces is imperfect, or that you can break it by doing this. Nov 6, 2014 at 12:49
• Well, either the material on the other side of the mirror is antimatter, our physical laws do not apply, or you can use a trick like this to break the mirror effect. Nov 6, 2014 at 14:39

A black hole (the two would collide and crash into each other making one singularity).

An electron (doesn't travel linearly so it wouldn't necessarily collide with itself).

Lots of different objects would be created from two mirrored particle accelerators colliding their payload. These created objects need not be spawned with a twin (so they would bypass the mirror).

• The mirrored electron would still copy the movements. Oct 12, 2014 at 22:09
• In order to collide, the electron would have to pass through the threshold of the mirror. This isn't guaranteed. Oct 12, 2014 at 22:34
• This is certainly an entertaining answer. Oct 17, 2014 at 18:25

Attempt #1

Yes, a liquid or gas. It would collide with, (and pass through) it's mirror image.

Attempt #2

Light. It would that count?

Attempt #3

Another mirror, it will create infinite energy back and forth causing the mirrors to break, the walk by.

• Not necessarily- the individual atoms in the liquid or gas would have mirrors too, so they would still collide with their mirrors without being able to pass, regardless of the phase of matter they are in. Oct 9, 2014 at 0:48
• My original thought was to put up a mirror and cause the infinite reflection. That way you're getting 'in' the mirror, but only in perspective, not physically. Oct 9, 2014 at 17:29
• There is no such thing as infinite reflection; it only can seem infinite. The fastest speed anything can travel, including light, is the speed of light, so there will not be infinite energy. Oct 12, 2014 at 19:51

If i would go to near the barrier, and raise my hand (not all the way through, just as to be vertical to my torso), then my reflection would do the same. Then if i catch my reflections hands and side step to the right, then my reflection would do the same but his right would be my left then I would enter from the right and he would do the same from the left.Side stepping in a circle whose center is the point where our hands are caught.

• you can't "catch his hand". His fingers would always match with yours and thus you'd never be able to intertwine. This is actually what I had thought of too initially. Oct 20, 2014 at 17:26
• ok but still the idea of rotating (side-stepping) with the center being on the barrier it should work Oct 21, 2014 at 9:55
• But your reflection's interpretation of what "right" means would be the opposite of yours, since he was born in a society where left and right have opposite meanings. So when the two of you mutually decide to sidestep "right", you move in the same direction and collide with one another. Nov 6, 2014 at 12:59

It is not a physical object, but one thing that can pass through the mirror is a (perfect harmonic?) wave.

This is due to the fact that the wave that coming from 'the other side' is reflected, and as such actually continues the wave from your side.

Of course this effect goes both ways.