An elementary fact that people learn about mirrors is the law of reflection, that the angle of incidence of a light beam striking the mirror (as measured with respect to a normal) equals the angle of reflection.
- Does this law also hold for a mirror that is moving? Consider a square mirror that is moving at speed v in a direction perpendicular to the mirror. (You can think of the mirror as starting in the xy-plane and moving in the positive z direction of a Cartesian coordinate system.) As the mirror approaches a certain observation point, another person shines a laser beam of frequency w at the mirror so that the beam makes an angle A with the normal to the mirror. (You can think of the beam as lying in the yz-plane.)
- What angle and frequency will you measure for the reflected light beam? Does the law of reflection still hold?
- Do your conclusions change if the mirror moves parallel, rather than perpendicular, to its plane (say in the y direction if it starts in the xy-plane)?
- The large mirror of the Hubble space telescope is an example of a mirror in motion as it orbits the earth. From your analysis, do you think the users of the Hubble have to take into account the motion of the mirror when measuring properties of its images?
- I know that this question could be according to the .SE standards be too broad. But I request you not to close this question, I would really appreciate people if this question is answered rather than flagged or closed.