Parabolic Mirror, Illustration

All conic sections possess a mirror property which, in case of parabola, guarantees that the light emitted from a source located at the focus of a parabola and reflected off its inner surface travels along a straight line parallel to the axis of the parabola. The applet below is a simple illustration of this property.

The flashlights and automotive front lights have a light source at the focus of a parabolic mirror. Modern radio telescopes work on this principle as well but in reverse, collecting the rays from a distant source in the focus of a prabolic antena. Dish TV also works on this principle.


This applet requires Sun's Java VM 2 which your browser may perceive as a popup. Which it is not. If you want to see the applet work, visit Sun's website at http://www.java.com/en/download/index.jsp, download and install Java VM and enjoy the applet.


What if applet does not run?

Conic Sections > Parabola

|Activities| |Contact| |Front page| |Contents| |Geometry| |Store|

Copyright © 1996-2017 Alexander Bogomolny

 61208926

Search by google: