A tricky trick of the light...
July 6, 2010 1:51 PM Subscribe
Help me solve an optical puzzle. How might I make this fictional camera obscura work, given the parameters of my fictional location?
posted by np312 to Science & Nature (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am writing a story that requires an underground chamber, buried beneath the side of a sloping valley, to have an optical lens within the chamber that projects as wide a view as possible of the valley (above-ground.)
I was thinking a giant lens of some sort, suspended over the floor of the chamber, would help disperse the light and magnify the image. But I don’t understand the optical mechanics necessary to help make this work. I have a only a rudimentary understanding of how camera obscuras work (despite having been IN one myself,) so I suppose my question is in three parts:
1. Where exactly would the mirror need to be placed for a panoramic view of the valley above to be projected into the underground chamber?
2. What would physically need to be above ground (on the sloping valley itself, above the underground chamber) in order to make this happen?
3. How large an opening for light would be needed, and would that opening need to be directly over the lens?
One last note: for story-reasons, the camera can’t be at the very top of the valley walls, but it can be somewhat close to the top.
Any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks.