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Mapping from a Euclidean space to itself
A reflection through an axis (from the red object to the green one) followed by a reflection (green to blue) across a second axis parallel to the first one results in a total motion that is a translation - by an amount equal to twice the distance between the two axes.
In mathematics, a reflection (also spelled reflexion) is a mapping from a Euclidean space to itself that is an isometry with a hyperplane as a set of fixed points; this set is called the axis (in dimension 2) or plane (in dimension 3) of reflection. The image of a figure by a reflection is its mirror image in the axis or plane of reflection. For example the mirror image of the small Latin letter p for a reflection with respect to a vertical axis would look like q. Its image by reflection in a horizontal axis would look like b. A reflection is an involution: when applied twice in succession, every point returns to its original location, and every geometrical object is restored to its original state.
The term reflection is sometimes used for a larger class of mappings from a Euclidean space to itself, namely the non-identity isometries that are involutions. Such isometries have a set of fixed points (the "mirror") that is an affine subspace, but is possibly smaller than a hyperplane. For instance a reflection through a point is an involutive isometry with just one fixed point; the image of the letter p under it
would look like a d. This operation is also known as a central inversion (Coxeter 1969, §7.2), and exhibits Euclidean space as a symmetric space. In a Euclidean vector space, the reflection in the point situated at the origin is the same as vector negation. Other examples include reflections in a line in three-dimensional space. Typically, however, unqualified use of the term "reflection" means reflection in a hyperplane.
Some mathematicians use "flip" as a synonym for "reflection".
Point Q is the reflection of point P through the line AB.
In a plane (or, respectively, 3-dimensional) geometry, to find the reflection of a point drop a perpendicular from the point to the line (plane) used for reflection, and extend it the same distance on the other side. To find the reflection of a figure, reflect each point in the figure.
Step 1 (red): construct a circle with center at P and some fixed radius r to create points A? and B? on the line AB, which will be equidistant from P.
Step 2 (green): construct circles centered at A? and B? having radius r. P and Q will be the points of intersection of these two circles.
Point Q is then the reflection of point P through line AB.
A reflection across an axis followed by a reflection in a second axis not parallel to the first one results in a total motion that is a rotation around the point of intersection of the axes, by an angle twice the angle between the axes.