In a mirror maze, each wall is covered, floor to ceiling, with a mirror. Walk through such a maze and what you see in most directions is a confusing montage of reflections. In some directions, however, you see a hallway that seems to offer a path through the maze. Take these hallways, though, and you soon learn, after smacking into mirror after mirror, that the hallways are largely an illusion.
How are hallway illusions produced in a mirror maze?
The answer is in this chapter.
One goal of physics is to discover the basic laws governing light, such as the law of refraction. A broader goal is to put those laws to use, and perhaps the most important use is the production of images. The first photographic images, made in 1824, were only novelties, but our world now thrives on images. Huge industries are based on the production of images on television, computer, and theater screens. Images from satellites guide military strategists during times of conflict and environmental strategists during times of blight. Camera surveillance can make a home more secure, but it can also invade the privacy of unsuspecting citizens. Physiologists and medical engineers are still puzzled by how images are produced by the human eye and the visual cortex of the brain, but they have ...