To Infinity Table and Beyond

Light, it’s properties, and the ways it can be manipulated are as fascinating as they are beautiful. It can be bent, slowed down, absorbed, and reflected. It turns out that the study of optics looks into all of these different interactions. But what happens when you want to mix the science of optics with a bit of real-world fun? You get an infinity table!

Infinity tables are named as such due to the illusion that the lights go on forever down into the depths of the table. But how can that be?

Infinity Table

To answer this, you not only need to know how the table was made, but also what optical properties those materials have. The three materials that makes these tables unique are LED lights, a normal mirror, and a two way mirror. The LEDs of course provide the visually pleasing light source. The normal mirror on the bottom of the table allows for the light to be completed reflected back up. And finally, the two way mirror allows for half of the light to escape the box of the table, and the other half to be reflected back down.

Because half of the light can escape through the two way mirror, with each bounce, half of the light is lost from the box. This is how the light appears to grow dimmer as you look down further into the apparent depths of the table.

Infinity Table 1

These tables are not the easiest to make at home, however it is not impossible. A simple home goods store may have all of the supplies needed. Just be sure to have adult help and supervision if you are to attempt this, given that glass is involved.

Written By: Mimi Garai


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