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View Full Version : Antifreeze "adaptive" optics



hhEb09'1
2008-Nov-09, 04:12 AM
Sky and Telescope article: Telescope Mirrors From Antifreeze? (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/34085109.html)

Ferrofluid liquid telescope mirrors that can be configured by electromagnets

cjameshuff
2008-Nov-09, 05:45 AM
Ferrofluid liquid telescope mirrors that can be configured by electromagnets

It's an interesting idea, but I suspect magnetically producing a parabolic surface of sufficient accuracy from ferrofluid will be harder than they think. Also...mercury metal isn't that toxic, the issues with using it for telescopes would have more to do with cost, weight, relatively low reflectance, and tendency to form oxide "scum".

Another option that might be more manageable would be to use electrostatic deformation...float a film of silver particles on a layer of oil, and treat it as one plate of a capacitor with the oil as a dielectric and electrodes at the bottom. Much less in the way of weird nonlinearitites to worry about.