How does liquid mirror utilizes the concept of parabola?
If I understand your question correctly, you are referring to mirrors
made of liquids. Indeed this can and has been done. For example, if
you rotate (around its central axis) a container having a liquid in it
at some particular speed, the liquid forms a curved surface indeed the
container. If you choose the right liquid, one that reflects, such as
mercury, then the rotating liquid can act as a mirror such as focusing
an incident beam. I do not recall if the shape is exactly parabolic, but
even a spherical one can focus.
If you rotate the liquid and reduce the temperature to freeze the
liquid, you could make a solid mirror.
Ali Khounsary, Ph.D.
Advanced Photon Source
Argonne National Laboratory
Click here to return to the Physics Archives
Update: June 2012