P1_2 Melting Mirrors

Oliver East, Chak Li, Emma Longstaff, Mark Fletcher


High powered lasers have been portrayed as being able to cut through almost anything, but a simple mirror seems to easily reflect them. The purpose of a mirror is to reflect optical light but surely there is a limit to the energy it can do so before it begins to deform and melt. Thorough research into this showed us that if we consider a mirror with an optical coating of silver and a 500 nm laser was applied to it, it would take 11.65 J to destroy the illuminated area, if conductivity and scattering were not considered.

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