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Mirror sphere

  1. Jul 2, 2004 #1


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    It may seem to be a stupid question but please take a serious look at it:
    1) (hypothetical):
    Imagine a perfect hollow orb (ball, sphere...) of some heatproof material - inside metallized to reflect most wavelenghts of light (a one-way-mirror). Assumed a perfect vaccum inside: what happens if you put this ball into sunlight?

    2) (practical):
    Constructing an octahedron (or even more sides) of one-way-mirrors and optimizing the design could lead to objects even more efficient in transmuting sun energy than solar cells, couldn't it? I think thermal balance of such an object would be reached at relative high temperatures. Do I miss something in my considerations or am I completely naive thinking?

    3) (simplified):
    Consider a setup of 2 parallel mirrors - one of them being one-way: projecting a laser beam through the one-way-mirror: what happens if the laser is projecting continously?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2004 #2


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    One way mirrors don't work the way you think they do. They do not pass light preferentially in one direction, and reflect it in the other. One side of a mirror has no light source, so the light coming through is all that is noticed. From that side it looks like a window. The other side of the mirror has light sources, so the bulk of the light seen by people on that side is reflected. They see it as a mirror.

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