A reflector sight or reflex sight is an optical device that allows the user to look through a partially reflecting glass element and see an illuminated projection of an aiming point or some other image superimposed on the field of view. These sights work on the simple optical principle that anything at the focus of a lens or curved mirror (such as an illuminated reticle) will look like it is sitting in front of the viewer at infinity. Reflector sights employ some sort of "reflector" to allow the viewer to see the infinity image and the field of view at the same time, either by bouncing the image created by lens off a slanted glass plate, or by using a mostly clear curved glass reflector that images the reticle while the viewer looks through the reflector. Since the reticle is at infinity it stays in alignment with the device the sight is attached to regardless of the viewer's eye position, removing most of the parallax and other sighting errors found in simple sighting devices.
Reflector sights work by using a lens or an image-forming curved mirror with a luminous or reflective overlay image or reticle at its focus, creating an optical collimator that produces a virtual image of that reticle. The image is reflected off some form of angled beam splitter or the partially silvered collimating curved mirror itself so that the observer (looking through the beam splitter or mirror) will see the image at the focus of the collimating optics superimposed in the sight's field of view in focus at ranges up to infinity. Since the optical collimator produces a reticle image made up of collimated light, light that is nearly parallel, the light making up that image is theoretically perfectly parallel with the axis of the device or gun barrel it is aligned with, i.e. with no parallax at infinity. The collimated reticle image can also be seen at any eye position in the cylindrical volume of collimated light created by the sight behind the optical window. But this also means, for targets closer than infinity, sighting towards the edge of the optical window can make the reticle move in relation to the target since the observer is sighting down a parallel light bundle at the edge. Eye movement perpendicular to the device's optical axis will make the reticle image move in exact relationship to eye position in the cylindrical column of light created by the collimating optics.