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ERIC Number: EJ860282
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Einstein's Mirror
Gjurchinovski, Aleksandar; Skeparovski, Aleksandar
Physics Teacher, v46 n7 p416-418 Oct 2008
Reflection of light from a plane mirror in uniform rectilinear motion is a century-old problem, intimately related to the foundations of special relativity. The problem was first investigated by Einstein in his famous 1905 paper by using the Lorentz transformations to switch from the mirror's rest frame to the frame where the mirror moves at a constant velocity. Einstein showed an intriguing fact that the usual law of reflection would not hold in the case of a uniformly moving mirror, that is, the angles of incidence and reflection of the light would not equal each other. Later on, it has been shown that the law of reflection at a moving mirror can be obtained in various alternative ways, but none of them seems suitable for bringing this interesting subject into the high school classroom.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A