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Mathematician Andrew Hicks Knows His Mirrors

Mathematician Andrew Hicks Knows His Mirrors

Andrew Hicks' Mirrors (Image courtesy NewScientist)
By Andrew Liszewski

NewScientist has a great photo gallery of mirrors created by Andrew Hicks, a mathematician at Drexel University in Philadelphia. But what makes his mirrors special you ask? Well you might have noticed that the mirror pictured above is actually reflecting the text on the side of a book so that it can be read normally, rather than reflecting a reversed image. The mirror was designed with the help of a special computer algorithm and features a uniquely curved and bent surface that directs the light rays across its surface before sending them back out, basically reversing the reversed image.

Andrew Hicks' Mirrors (Image courtesy NewScientist)

Here’s a convex mirror that reflects a wide-angled view, but without any distortion. As you can see, any real-world objects with straight lines remain straight in the reflection. This mirror was actually developed for a stair climbing robot at the University of Pennsylvania which uses a camera pointed at a mirror to see where it’s going, and the lack of distortion in the image makes navigating a set of stairs considerably easier.

Head on over to the NewScientist gallery for a few more great examples of Andrew’s work. (It must be something common with the name.)

[ NewScientist – Reflecting on a new generation of mirrors ] VIA [ Tech Digest ]







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