Liquid Mirror

This Demonstration simulates a liquid mirror. As a reflective liquid rotates, it pushes up against the walls of its cylindrical container and assumes the shape of a paraboloid. Incoming light rays parallel to the axis bounce off the liquid and intersect at a common focal point.
  • Contributed by: Sheldon Zhu
  • (Mathematica Summer Camp 2013)


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This Demonstration is based on a 2001 International Physics Olympiad problem [1]. More information on the practical uses of liquid mirrors can be found on Wikipedia [2].
[1] 2001 International Physics Olympiad. "Experimental Competitiion." (Jul 30, 2013) www.jyu.fi/ipho/2001/IPhO2001-EXP.pdf.
[2] Wikipedia. "Liquid Mirror Telescope." (Jul 30, 2013) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_mirror_telescope.
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