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Author Topic: Is it possible to make one-way glass? How would a box made from it behave?  (Read 5710 times)

Offline superman3-27

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Ok i have been planning on designing this and thought i'd get some idea's from you guys and girls.

Ok here is the idea:

I would build a box from glass, however the inner side would be mirrored and the box could be seen into from the outside.

Now if i put i bulb in there and emitted light, took the box into a dark room, would it light up the room? i would be able to see the light but if the mirror could reflect all the light then no light would escape and therefore it would be illumiated but would not illuminate the room.

there we go, now give me your theories if it would not work and why.

thanks,

GK
« Last Edit: 22/05/2008 22:10:03 by chris »


 

lyner

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Well, Superman
You have obviously been thinking about this and it's an interesting idea.
BUT, a silvered surface - that is one which reflects light perfectly - will, by definition,  not let any light through. So you could not 'see into it' from the outside because no light would pass through its internal silvering.
This assumes that the silvering is perfect. It is really a 'thought experiment'.
A real silvered surface (just silvering with no 'undercoat' to hold the silvering on to the glass)  would let some light through and this light could pass through to the outside if the box material were transparent glass. So you could see some of the light from the bulb inside.
 

Offline turnipsock

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won't all the light change to heat eventually?
 

lyner

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As always, eventually. But I think this revolves around the definition of 'mirrored'.
If it is truly, and ideally, mirrored, no light will get out and you can't 'see' into the box.
 

Offline turnipsock

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Its a bit like a fridge. The sides are white, so will reflect all light. The enigma is that bulb doesn't warm up the inside of the fridge when the door is closed.
 

Offline lightarrow

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Ok i have been planning on designing this and thought i'd get some idea's from you guys and girls.

Ok here is the idea:

I would build a box from glass, however the inner side would be mirrored and the box could be seen into from the outside.

Now if i put i bulb in there and emitted light, took the box into a dark room, would it light up the room? i would be able to see the light but if the mirror could reflect all the light then no light would escape and therefore it would be illumiated but would not illuminate the room.

there we go, now give me your theories if it would not work and why.

thanks,

GK

Sophiecentaur gave you the correct answer, but your question, forgive me, was too simple, so I would like to make it...a little bit more interesting: if that box is seen from an observer approaching it at near the speed of light, the photons inside the box, for blueshift, should acquire such an energy to become x-rays, so they should come out of the box...
 

lyner

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Its a bit like a fridge. The sides are white, so will reflect all light. The enigma is that bulb doesn't warm up the inside of the fridge when the door is closed.
I tried opening the door really quickly, to see if it was on or off but was I quick enough?
So I sat in there for a while. I couldn't see a thing, so I can't be sure.
 

Offline LeeE

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Did you shift everything out of the fridge before you got in?  If you just squeezed yourself in there while it was still full you might have just pushed something in front of the light.

You should have just put a camera on self-timer release in there.

Fortunately, I don't have to worry about this issue as the light-bulb in my fridge blew many years ago and rather than replace it, I took it as an opportunity to practice and improve my night vision.
 

lyner

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I think I had my eyes closed at the time - I was so frightened.
 

Offline LeeE

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You must have got quite cold too, poor thing:)
 

lyner

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