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Hetu & Luoshu



Vision Reflector

Queensland Bottle Tree
::: Vision Reflector

A basic vision reflector consists of a primary mirror that collects light and a secondary mirror that reflects the light to a detector. There are three different shapes for mirrors that each reflects lights in a different ways. Mirrors can be concave (they turn inward like a bowl), convex (they turn outward like a speed bump), or planar (flat like a pancake). The light that enters a telescope is reflected so that all the light intersects at a point called the focal point. The location of the focal point is a vital piece of information of a telescope; it is where all of the light collected from a distant object is focused.

Our display of the vision reflector is based on "Art of Anamorphosis" -- an art technique developed by Renaissance painters in the mid-16th century. (An anamorphosis is a deformed image that appears in its true shape when viewed in some "unconventional" way.)

In one common form of anamorphosis -- usually termed "oblique" -- the unconventionality arises from the fact that the image must be viewed from a position that is very far from the usual in-front and straight-ahead position from which we normally expect images to be looked at.

In another common form -- sometimes termed "catoptric" -- the image must be seen reflected in a distorting mirror (typical shapes being cylindrical, conical and pyramidal). Our display is created through the catoptric anamorphosis. That is, the distorting images of "Dancing with Butterflies" on the ground become clear and vivid when they are seen reflected in the cylindrical distorting mirror.

Back Top 2018/09/14 updated *