Andrew Hicks, a professor at Drexel University, has invented a new type of curved mirror which shows the reflection without inverting it left-right, as normal plane mirrors do. Although this effect can be achieved by placing two mirrors at right angles and looking at them both along the 45 degree bisector (as anyone who’ve ever stayed on a canal boat or similarly small bathroom which uses a double-mirror in the corner will attest – it’s mildly disconcerting), this new invention is a single curved piece of glass. Apparently, some maths is involved: Hicks has “design[ed] computer algorithms to cleverly manipulate the angles of curved mirror surfaces so distortions in the reflection are precisely controlled”.
The applications of such a mirror are probably manifold – not least, the disconcerting people possibilities are endless – but currently its main use is as part of an art exhibition in New York, doubtless equally disconcerting. Hicks is looking for other potential applications of his non-reversing mirror, so if you have any good ideas, feel free to contact him.
This isn’t the first amazing mirror Hicks has invented – he’s also responsible for a new type of car rear view mirror (incomprehensible patent), which uses a similar curved technology to create a much wider viewing angle without a huge blind spot.
For more information, read the original article on TechFragments.
Further reading: The customized reflections of freeform mirrors (Physics Today 63, pp. 72-73).