IF YOU HAD ROOM WITH ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN IT AND THE WALLS CEILING AND FLOOR WERE MADE OF MIRROR WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE IN THE MIRRORS
Holy shit I asked my dad who’s a physics teacher and he just looked at me, looked at the table, looked at me, tried not to smile, looked angry, and started to look up where you can buy big mirrors.
this is an actual room of mirrors.
as you can see, it leads to glitches in the matrix
Pshh. This is some entry-level nerd shit. Stand back.
It would be dark, obviously. If there’s nothing in the room, I assume there’s also no light source in the room. Mirrors reflect light. No light, and it’s just a room with glass walls.
"Fine, smarty-pants, then there’s a light source."
Okay, then the mirrors would infinitely reflect the lamp, or whatever.
"Ugh, then there’s just a magic floating ball of light in the middle of the room. No lamp."
That’s just a lamp with no sharp edges, if you think about it.
"UGH. Just imagine that the room is UNIFORMLY LIT, but not FROM anything. Or a laser beam just, like, HAPPENED."
Okay, well if we’re suspending the laws of physics now in this hypothetical scenario, we have to clarify a few points:
- Do the mirrors join each other perfectly at the corners, floor, and ceiling; i.e., with no cracks?
In the real world this would be next to impossible; the gap between each mirror would need to be significantly smaller than one wavelength of light. If not, what you’d predominantly see reflected would be those cracks. That’s one of the things that’s happening in the picture above. For this reason, this hypothetical is usually posed as a perfectly-smooth mirrored sphere, to avoid needing to talk about cracks and corners.
- Are these perfect mirrors?
That is, do they reflect 100% of all light on all wavelengths? Because perfect mirrors kind of don’t really exist. Did you know that your bathroom mirror only reflects about 25% of the light energy that strikes it back at you? The mirrors used in laser laboratories can get up to 80 or 90%, and I read about a mirror developed at MIT recently which apparently reflects more than 98% of light energy. The light energy which doesn’t bounce off the mirror is absorbed by it instead: at which point it becomes heat. Even if you had a mirror so good that only 0.0000001% of its light energy was converted into heat energy on every bounce, your light would still dissipate almost instantly, because of how fast light travels (and, therefore, how many bounces it makes per second).
- Is there air in the room?
Yeah—you know how I said that light energy becomes heat energy when it bounces off of an imperfect mirror (or, if you prefer, ‘literally anything’)? Well, passing through all those atoms and molecules it encounters in the air takes the same kind of toll. If you don’t want your light to be reduced to heat-mush before you can finish blinking your eyes, you’d need your room to be a perfect vacuum. And perfect vacuums? Yeah, those don’t exist either.
“UGHHHHHH. YES, okay, the room is PERFECTLY spherical, it’s coated in a PERFECT mirror, and it contains a PERFECT vacuum. Just tell me what it looks like, oh my God!”
Well…it doesn’t look like anything.
I mean…’looking’ implies the existence of an observer, right? You have constructed a hypothetical chamber which could not admit an observer of any kind. As soon as you cut a hole in the room to take a peak inside, all of the light would escape/be converted into a heat, and you’d be left with total darkness again. Even if you could construct a room like the one you’re describing, there’d be no way to know what was happening inside it!
“I WILL EAT YOU.”
—BUT: hypothetically, it wouldn’t be dark in there before you messed it up.
It would be white.
A perfectly featureless, perfectly regular, perfectly boring white room.
What did you expect? Light, visible light anyway, is white. You see colors when photons are absorbed by the atoms of a substrate, but we’ve already determined that these are perfect mirrors, so no photons are being absorbed. In your perfect mirror room, there is nothing to see: just light, bouncing around into infinity, doing nothing whatsoever of any interest.