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# The math behind the kaleidoscope

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## Lici Beltran

on 18 May 2016

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#### Transcript of The math behind the kaleidoscope

The description
Kaleidoscope noun; an optical instrument in which bits of glass, held loosely at the end of a rotating tube, are shown in continually changing symmetrical forms by reflection in two or more mirrors set at angles to each other.
The Use Of A Kaleidoscope
The use of the kaleidoscope is to see many different colored patterns at the end of the tube that has more than 2 mirrors at the end to give off the effect of the patterns. Kaleidoscopes are suppose to kind of be like telescopes however obviously just with patterns; and people did not use kaleidoscopes for certain experiments or anything they were mostly used for toys for little kids.
Examples of how kaleidoscopes were used before being patented by David Brewster in 1816
Way before David Brewster 'made' the kaleidoscope ancient greeks,
and the mathematician
Ptolemy were one of
the first people to
find that you can see
patterns in multiple
mirrors that are next to
each other.
Explanation Of How The Knowledge And Mathematics Helps Create A Kaleidoscope
Well obviously when you look at a kaleidoscope, and turn it around and around you can see multiple different patterns of the object inside it. So if you had a kaleidoscope that had mirrors that were 30 degrees then you would see 6 patterns.
Explanation Of How Angles At Which Mirrors Meet Affect The Number Of Duplicate Images That Are Observed
Having different angles of mirrors gives you a different number of patterns that you see. Like I said before if you have mirror angles that are 30 degrees you will get 6 different patterns, because 180 divided by 30 is 6. And sides of triangles all have to add up to 180 degrees so yeah. :)
The Development
So David Brewster was looking at different colored objects with two mirrors. At the end of where he was looking he started to notice patterns. However the American version of this guy was Charles Bush. He was the first man to create the parlor kaleidoscope. The parlor kaleidoscope is a very popular kaleidoscope. Many collectors like to collect kaleidoscopes that are parlors.

FUN FACT:
Apparently many of the baby boomers during that time would usually get a parlor kaleidoscope for a toy when they were younger.
The math behind the kaleidoscope by: Lici Marie
Explanation Of Whether Angles Other Than 45, 50, and 90 Degrees Can Be Used In A Kaleidoscope
Explanation Of My
Kaleidoscope
Yes there are other degrees that can be used in a kaleidoscope. Such as 60 and 36. For 60 degrees that would mean 6 folds and 3 points of the kaleidoscope, to get that accurate effect. For 30 degrees, it would be 10 folds and 5 points to get
that accurate pattern in a
kaleidoscope.
David Brewster
Charles Bush
So I made my kaleidoscope out of a thick piece of cardboard tube, with having my jewel things on the bottom glued to plastic, with plastic as well on top of the jewels. On top of that I have 3 pieces of cardboard wrapped in tinfoil so the jewels can reflect off of that and then make patterns.
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