March 3, 2009 You could be forgiven for thinking Andrew Hicks is obsessed with his own reflection, but it’s the mirror itself which attracts the interest of this mathematician from Drexel University, Philadelphia. Hicks has used computer algorithms to generate a mirror that produces a mirror image that isn’t a mirror image, making it possible to read reflected text normally.

To achieve this feat the mirror features a surface that is curvy and bendy (in scientific terms), which makes the light rays from an object cross the mirror’s face, thereby flipping them, before sending them out to the viewer.

This non-reversing mirror is not the only weird and wonderful reflective surface design Hicks has come up with. He’s also designed rectifying mirrors, equiresolution mirrors, equiangular mirrors, equicylindrical mirrors and panoramic mirrors just to name a few. Everyone knows what they are, right? Well even if you don’t, rest assured that, besides looking pretty cool, Hicks’ mirrors could have applications in surveillance and web cams and in the creation of lenses that provide wide angled-views or eliminate distortion – not to mention widespread applications in halls of mirrors.

Darren Quick