Liquid Mirror

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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 (July 2013)
(Mathematica Summer Camp 2013)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



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)

[2] Wikipedia. "Liquid Mirror Telescope." (Jul 30, 2013)

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