Magic Mirrors come from China and Japan. They became popular in Europe in the early part of the 19th century and many distinguished scientist have attempted to explain the phenomenon.
Superficially there seem to be two kinds of magic mirror, those which produce images similar to the relief patterns on their backs, thus giving the illusion of being "transparent", and those which produce a totally different image from the relief on the back. This difference may be just a deception. It may also explain why there are so many theories about how they work, and how they are/were made.
The front of a Magic Mirror is a polished metal surface, and is indeed an extremely good mirror. No sign of any image or picture. However when you shine a beam of light onto the mirror (sunlight works well) and direct the reflection onto a flat surface, lo and behold an image appears.
Our mirrors are modern replicas, and are made in China.
This small size of Magic Mirror is 7cm in diameter, and comes in an elegant Chinese presentation box. At the moment we only have small mirrors with zodiac symbols or with the symbols of the Magic Circle. All of our mirrors project the same 'image' as the design on their back.
In the video, Tim uses a torch to display the image. This is a normal LED torch, but there are a few important things to say about the torch. It has a single LED, and also we have unscrewed the front of the torch and removed the silver reflector. Thus the light comes from a single point source.
Interesting effect, indeed. As noted below the theory is that the dark parts of the image are due to destructive interference of light waves being reflected from the polished metal surface which is the result of microscopic defects in the surface of the mirror due to the pattern stamped into the other side or a pattern that was overstamped a second time to hide the first. Once the visible pattern was pressed into the metal, it should be possible to polish it away and still retain the magic reflection pattern on the other polished side.
Been explained, but needed the late 20th century to get there. It's interference patterns on the mirror created by the process of putting the image on the back. They have been able to reveal gun serial numbers even though they had been ground and filed off this way. The stress of tooling the numbers, or, in this case, the patterns on the back, propagate through the metal.
+drifter13 You might have seen this on "The Forensic Files" or even (I think) on "CSI". You polish the area where the serial number had been stamped and then acid etch it. The stress pattern generated by stamping the serial number into place becomes visible. http://www.csitechblog.com/2011/07/how-crime-labs-restore-obliterated-serial-numbers.html
Never use a spoon to ''eat" marmite or vegemite by the way marmire came first and is more meaty what you do to try it for the first time is get buttered toast get a small amount on the knife and spread lt lightly with a small amount in patches the reason I say this is idiots try both the vegemite and the marmite by getting a fucking spoon and trying to eat it like chocolate spread its a strong meatyish flavor that takes a while to get used to the flavor its not like sweets (candy) I dont like alot of vegimite or marmite on my toast its too strong so buy some and do what I said, I might do a review on marmite
Yes, but it's the logo of The Magic Circle (all caps) which is a prominent guild of magicians/illusionists.
As I understand, Tim performed magic for a while, and his shop, Grand Illusions, started out selling magic tricks before expanding to toys, puzzles, and sciencey curiosities like this one.
The design on the back and the secret reflection don't have to match. Many of the earliest ones were for followers of non-sanctioned religions. They had the sanctioned religious symbols outside, and their secret religious symbols only appeared via reflection.
my theory is that the glass isn't 100% reflective and the imprint (same as on the back) is visible when light is shined on it. the imprint's shadow appears on the surface that is lit up. down-vote if this doesn't make any sense lol
+Claude Hébert Yes, they do have a slightly uneven surface, it is too slight to be seen but affects the reflection angle of the light enough to make these images. And you are correct in thinking that it is a difference in hardness, but it is not really a differential heat treatment that is used.
The bronze used in these mirrors can be work hardened, which means deformation causes it to become harder, so you can use a hammer and some sort of tool(like a blunt chisel, punch or metal stamp) to make a design which also hardens the metal in the shape of the design, so when polished, the mirror will have a slightly uneven surface.
Such mirrors could have the visible design on the back removed and a new one etched in. Etching, of course, removes material rather than deforming it, and will not change the hidden image, so you can have a mirror that will reflect a different image than the one visible on the back.
Might have to do with the molecular arrangement of material on the mirror's face. You can heat-treat steel for example (but some alloys too, like some aluminium-copper alloys like 6061). The change in molecular arrangement might reveal different optical properties, like reflection angle. Polish the face to a mirror-finish, you won't notice the details, but shine a light towards it and the light is correctly reflected on the non-tempered parts, scattered by the heat treated parts. Chinese and Japanese have mastered the differential heat-treament of steels, mostly used to give a hard, sharp edge on swords (tempered part), while keeping the flexibility and toughness of the sword's back. Now this same process could also be used to elaborate another theory; polishing the mirror with a soft-backed polishing tool will create, at the microscopic level, an uneven surface. The harder tempered lines would create "ridges" with a convex surface that scatter light. Interesting to think about how these are made.
Also many western silver objects have these secret reflections embossed on by the makers, it was done to identify the maker or to provide secret identification of Catholic Chalices in Protestant countries. The process was known in Roman times, and is far more common than realised.
Old Arabic copper often has these optical reflection patterns as well.
the mirrors are simple, metal polished after a stamped backing is made, the front has differential hardening, which when polished reduces the non hardened areas by about .5 micron, leaving the hardened proud by the same. The best light is the sun to view them by.
I should know, I made them and tested the operation at out optical manufacturing company. The Japanese considered the polishing operation secret.
My hypothesis -- on top of what the other guy said: The mirror's metal backing conforms to the back of the calendar too subtly to perceive by simply looking at the mirror. This conformity would look like a negative image of the calendar. When you shine a light on the mirror, the raised parts would reflect the light back as is creating the bright spots on the reflection and the lowered parts would diffract light away from the it creating the dark spots, thus reversing the negative.
At various times in history certain ideas and/or religions have been outlawed in China. For example early Christians in China were subject to summary execution if found with any Christian objects. The magic mirrors could be made with religious subject matter but they would look like a simple mirror. That way they could carry their icons without worry of being put to the death.
WARNING! HISTORY CONTENT! These were used to allow early Chinese Christians to identify themselves without being arrested, tortured, and killed. Made by carefully scraping away at the face to copy the image on the reverse, the original image was concealed by a false back. When roadblocks and checkpoints warranted searches of property all that the guards saw were mirrors, leaving the traveler's secret intact.
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