Japanese Mirrors

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Abstract

YOUR correspondents, Messrs. Atkinson, Highley, and Darbishire, have referred to several conjectures and experiments respecting the curious Japanese mirrors and the patterns they reflect. None of these gentlemen have, however, referred to the suggestion offered by Sir David Brewster in the Philosophical Magazine for December, 1832. In this paper Sir David drew attention to some similar phenomena in the light reflected from the surfaces of burnished buttons of metal, arguing that in the mirrors (of which at that time he apparently had seen no actual specimen) there were slight actual inequalities of surface, artificially produced, but concealed from observation by their slightness of depth and by the brightness of the polish. This, of course, may be independent of the particular figures raised in relief on the back, as in the case cited by Mr. Darbishire; and so thought Sir David, for he added:—

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THOMPSON, S. Japanese Mirrors. Nature 16, 163 (1877) doi:10.1038/016163d0

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