Reflecting inside a Spherical Mirror and a Catacaustic

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This Demonstration shows an image formed inside a spherical mirror of radius and center on the optical axis . Let the point be off and let be the orthogonal projection of onto . After reflection, the reflection of the ray parallel to from meets the ray at the point . The notion of image of a point is not uniquely defined because the reflections of three rays from a given point do not meet in a single point. The image of the directed segment is a vertical segment with endpoint as . If you increase the height of , moves to the right.

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The catacaustic is also shown.

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Contributed by: Izidor Hafner (January 2019)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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