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Continuously Focusable Mirror

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000103136D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-17
Document File: 1 page(s) / 47K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Wilhite, DW: AUTHOR

Abstract

A device is described which produces a continuously focusable mirror. The mirror can be produced inexpensively and with a wide range of diameters. Unlike conventional Liquid Mirrors, the device can be used in the absence of a gravitational field or aimed at a direction other than the zenith.

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Continuously Focusable Mirror

      A device is described which produces a continuously focusable
mirror.  The mirror can be produced inexpensively and with a wide
range of diameters.  Unlike conventional Liquid Mirrors, the device
can be used in the absence of a gravitational field or aimed at a
direction other than the zenith.

      The device consists of several parts:
1)   Mirror Surface - reflective thin film or liquid.
2)   Support Fluid - gel or liquid which can readily change shape.
3)   Container - for gel or liquid support fluid.
4)   Apparatus to rotate container - motor and gear assembly with
applicable frame.
5)   Magnetic Field - electromagnet or other magnetic field source.
6)   Magnetic Particles - fine particles which are attracted by
Magnetic Field or are magnetic in their own right.

      The operation is as follows:

      The magnetic particles are evenly dispersed and suspended in
the support fluid which, in turn, is placed in the container and
covered with the mirror surface.  The aforementioned parts are
rotated using the Apparatus to rotate container.  The magnetic field
is then placed at the bottom of the container.

      How the device works:
1)   The magnetic particles are attracted by the magnetic field and
conform to the bottom of the container.
2)   As the container and support fluid rotate, the surface of the
gel or liquid form a parabola.
3)   The mirror surface conforms to the parabolic surface o...