parabolic mirror

  1. A concave mirror whose cross-section is shaped like the tip of a parabola. Most of the light, radio waves, sound, and other radiation that enter the mirror straight on is reflected by the surface and converges on the focus of the parabola, where being concentrated, it can be easily detected. Conversely, radiation emanating from the focal point reflects from the inner surface of the mirror into a fairly direct beam of nearly parallel radiation that can be aimed at a target. Parabolic mirrors are the basis of parabolic antennae and automobile headlights, as well as some megaphones and telescopic mirrors.

Words Nearby parabolic mirror

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

How to use parabolic mirror in a sentence

  • You could not make out what it was, but I saw enough to convince me that it was a gigantic parabolic mirror.

    The Moon Metal | Garrett P. Serviss
  • And curving around on the far wall, like a huge parabolic mirror, was the Map.

    Gold in the Sky | Alan Edward Nourse
  • The parabolic mirror will reflect the star to a perfect focus.

    Catharine Furze | Mark Rutherford
  • The cylinder contains a parabolic mirror in the back, a series of glass strips in the front, and two "carbons" in the middle.

    The Gunner's Examiner | Harold E. Cloke
  • The parabolic mirror has the property of rendering parallel, or nearly so, the rays from a light-source placed at its focus.

    Artificial Light | M. Luckiesh