Sir David Brewster, while studying polarization, came up with the idea for the kaleidoscope and patented it in 1817.
What to Do:
- Aim the clear side of the kaleidoscope at what you want to look at.
- Some suggestions are:
- Objects in the room.
- The fluorescent lights overhead.
- Your hand, while moving your fingers together and apart.
- Look through the small hole.
What do you think is inside the kaleidoscope that makes the image repeat in wedges around a circle?
Answer: This kaleidoscope has two mirrors inside separated by a 45 degree angle by a dark piece of cardboard.
What is going on?
The image seen in the triangular aperture between the two inclined mirrors is the result of reflections and appears to be a symmetrical figure. The separation of 45 degrees between the two mirrors gives the final image an 8-fold symmetry. This means that the image repeats 8 times!