Best Answer for history of spherical mirrors in human civilization
A spherical mirror is a mirror that has the shape of a piece cut out of a spherical surface. There are two types of spherical mirrors:concave and convex mirror.
The first mirrors used by people were most likely pools of dark, still water, or water collected in a primitive vessel of some sort. The earliest manufactured mirrors were pieces of polished stone such as obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glass. Examples of obsidian mirrors found in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) have been dated to around 6000 BC. Mirrors of polished copper were crafted in Mesopotamia from 4000 BC, and in ancient Egypt from around 3000 BC. Polished stone mirrors from Central and South America date from around 2000 BC onwards. In China, bronze mirrors were manufactured from around 2000 BC,some of the earliest bronze and copper examples being produced by the Qijia culture. Mirrors made of other metal mixtures (alloys) such as copper and tin speculum metal may have also been produced in China and India.Mirrors of speculum metal or any precious metal were hard to produce and were only owned by the wealthy.
Metal-coated glass mirrors are said to have been invented in Sidon (modern-day Lebanon) in the first century AD, and glass mirrors backed with gold leaf are mentioned by the Roman author Pliny in hisNatural History, written in about 77 AD.The Romans also developed a technique for creating crude mirrors by coating blown glass with molten lead.
Parabolic mirrors were described and studied in classical antiquity by the mathematician Diocles in his work On Burning Mirrors. Ptolemy conducted a number of experiments with curved polished iron mirrors, and discussed plane, convex spherical, and concave spherical mirrors in his Optics.Parabolic mirrors were also described by the physicist Ibn Sahl in the 10th century, and Ibn al-Haytham discussed concave and convex mirrors in both cylindrical and spherical geometries, carried out a number of experiments with mirrors, and solved the problem of finding the point on a convex mirror at which a ray coming from one point is reflected to another point. By the 11th century, clear glass mirrors were being produced in Moorish Spain.
In China, people began making mirrors with the use of silver-mercury amalgams as early as 500 AD.Some time during the early Renaissance, European manufacturers perfected a superior method of coating glass with a tin-mercury amalgam. The exact date and location of the discovery is unknown, but in the 16th century, Venice, a city famed for its glass-making expertise, became a centre of mirror production using this new technique. Glass mirrors from this period were extremely expensive luxuries.The Saint-Gobain factory, founded by royal initiative in France, was an important manufacturer, andBohemian and German glass, often rather cheaper, was also important.
The invention of the silvered-glass mirror is credited to German chemist Justus von Liebig in 1835. His process involved the deposition of a thin layer of metallic silver onto glass through the chemical reduction of silver nitrate. This silvering process was adapted for mass manufacturing and led to the greater availability of affordable mirrors. Nowadays, mirrors are often produced by the wet deposition of silver (or sometimes aluminum via vacuum deposition)directly onto the glass substrate.
Uses of Spherical Mirror
Rearview mirror: The side view mirror of the car forms a small and erect image with the help of convex mirrors which helps to see the way behind the car.
Security mirrors in ATM: Security mirrors are kept near the ATM’s so that the bank customer can check that somebody is behind them or not.
Satellite Dishes: One of the most important uses of a concave mirror is satellite dishes. These are used to receive the weaker signals sent from the communication satellites and then amplify it.
Headlights in a car: A powerful source of light is kept at the focus point of the concave mirror in a smaller space at the back of the headlight. Any light striking the mirror from the focus will get reflected parallel to the axis of the concave mirror.
Shaving mirror: Another use of concave mirror is a shaving mirror. The image formed after the reflections of the concave mirrors is helpful for people while shaving.