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Q & A: Hall of mirrors and a light bulb

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
i was wondering if you had a room full of mirrors at different angles and if you placed a small light bulb in one corner would the reflected light cause the whole room to light up?
- amanda
maine
A:
Sure! If the mirrors are nearly perfectly reflecting, then light will build up steadily in the room until the losses due to light absorption on the mirrors, dust in the air, or the light bulb itself equal the rate at which light energy is put in from the light bulb.

You might be able to arrange the mirrors so that light emitted by the bulb will be focused right back where it came from, and then you might not get the nice distribution of light everywhere.

Tom

(published on 10/22/2007)

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