Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Constant Light without a source?

  1. Jan 28, 2009 #1
    Constant Light without a source???

    Is it possible to create a constant light using a laser pointer and two highly reflective parabolas. If the two parabolas open out to face eachother, and then you shine the laser into one, would the laser reflect until it reaches the centre and then continualy bouncing back and forth creating a constant light, at this point turning the laser off cause there to be no light source. Eventually this would fade out but is it possilbe.
    Any ideas on where to buy products for this would be usefull.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2009 #2

    Nabeshin

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Re: Constant Light without a source???

    In theory, an idea such as this should be possible. However, in order for the light to be seen, it has to diffract off of the air, which obviously diminishes the beam strength. Also, since no mirror is perfect, even in a vacuum the beam would not continue to propagate infinitely.
     
  4. Jan 28, 2009 #3

    turin

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Re: Constant Light without a source???

    I don't expect this to be possible for visible light, or EM radiation of wavelength shorter than microwave. Anything you make the mirrors out of will be composed of atoms, and so the granularity will have a deteriorating/dispersive effect on multiple reflections. There can be a few, or even a few hundred reflections, but very soon the light will scatter out of the apparatus. Unfortunately, for much longer wavelengths you have another problem: heat loss.
     
  5. Jan 29, 2009 #4

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

  6. Jan 30, 2009 #5
    Re: Constant Light without a source???

    Wow, I didn't know there was such a thing. Thanks for opening my eyes.
    Cheers
     
  7. Feb 11, 2009 #6
    Re: Constant Light without a source???

    Keep in mind that the only light you see is light that has left the system of mirrors.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Constant Light without a source?
  1. Sources of light (Replies: 3)

  2. Source of light (Replies: 3)

Loading...