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A couple of random thoughts I had..

Rich H

Active Member
Aug 29, 2002
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Ok so this first one popped into my head a couple of months back..

If you were to build a sealed cube made from one way glass, with the mirror sides all facing inwards, and you were to shine a light into the cube from the outside, once you take the light away, would it continue reflecting on the inside with no way of escaping?
Also, if you were to have a light inside the cube, would any light be able to escape into a darkened room? Or would you just see a box of light that doesn't 'shine' past the edges of the cube?

The other one is.. Can you have a space with solid sides that contains no oxygen? For example if you were to stand inside a completely solid and sealed box, that only had a small hole in one side, and then something like a vacuum was plugged into that hole and turned on to suck all of the air out, but not powerful enough to collapse the box, would you still be able to breathe?
 

Liam92

#16 Reading Entity
Nov 4, 2009
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Ok so this first one popped into my head a couple of months back..

If you were to build a sealed cube made from one way glass, with the mirror sides all facing inwards, and you were to shine a light into the cube from the outside, once you take the light away, would it continue reflecting on the inside with no way of escaping?
Also, if you were to have a light inside the cube, would any light be able to escape into a darkened room? Or would you just see a box of light that doesn't 'shine' past the edges of the cube?

The other one is.. Can you have a space with solid sides that contains no oxygen? For example if you were to stand inside a completely solid and sealed box, that only had a small hole in one side, and then something like a vacuum was plugged into that hole and turned on to suck all of the air out, but not powerful enough to collapse the box, would you still be able to breathe?
Light in box: light loses energy incredibly quickly, so as soon as the source of light was taken away it would simply lose all energy and it would be dark inside the box again.
well it depends how good the mirror is. you will notice that when the paparazzi photograph celebrities in their limos etc. with tinted glass, the flashes are so strong that they can often penetrate the glass and allow you to see inside. But assuming the reflective surface inside the cube stopped 100% of the light, then you would see nothing. the more light it lets through, the more of the space outside would be lit.

Vacuum in box: Don't know if i'm missing the point but if you take all the air out of the box to leave you trapped in a vacuum, there would be no oxygen in the room which is what we need to live so no. Or if what you mean is would you have the ability to inhale (expand your lungs) then i would suggest that you would be able to but it would be difficult because you could still flex your diaphragm, although the pressure outside your lungs would be much less than inside, so it would be pulling your lungs shut.
if it wasn't for the inherent danger i would suggest putting a bag over your head and trying to breath to experience the same effect :p
 

Cook$

Just the tip....
Jul 7, 2001
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They do make vacuum chambers. But I wouldnt suggest getting inside one. Your eyeballs would boil, all of the air would be pulled out of your lungs, and you'd probably poo yourself.
 
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WihGlah

Autococker Tech
Jul 19, 2009
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From XKCD.com

"Believe it or not, you’ve been lied to all your life—there’s no such thing as one-way mirror glass.
Glass either lets light through or reflects it, but there’s no glass that lets light through one way and reflects it the other way. The glass in police shows is partially reflective (on both sides). The key is that the room on the prisoner’s side is brightly lit, so the reflection washes out the small amount of light from the observers’ side."

The light would simply escape.

Even mirrors are not 100% reflective - so the light would still get out.

However lets say you have a 100% efficient mirrored walls, you and the light source would absorb the light, so it would still go dark as soon as you turned off the light source.


as for the evacuated box - it is remarkably difficult impossible to pull a complete vacuum in a container. Even in the emptiness if deep space (ie outside the solar system), there are atoms of Hydrogen and Helium floating about.

However I believe NASA has several large vacuum chambers analagous to your scenario which pull very low pessures. But no - you could not breathe, since there is no gas to inhale. Also - in a very short time most of your exposed blood vessels (eyes / ears / lungs / nose / genitalia etc) would have burst and your blood would begin to boil.

http://www.newscientist.com/blog/space/2008/06/how-long-can-you-survive-in-vacuum-of.html

If only the Oxygen was removed from a chamber, then you would breathe, but Asphyxia would set in very quickly.
 
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metalfof

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Jul 3, 2011
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As above,simple physics would say that if light could enter in the first place,then you do not have 100% reflection so eventually the photons would escape.Your second question is easy,boiling points are affected by pressure,so in a vacuum your mind would not be on the lack of air ,but rather your blood boiling in situ and any aerated tissue (alvioli,eyes,eardrum etc)expanding under the pressure differential.
 
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The other one is.. Can you have a space with solid sides that contains no oxygen? For example if you were to stand inside a completely solid and sealed box, that only had a small hole in one side, and then something like a vacuum was plugged into that hole and turned on to suck all of the air out, but not powerful enough to collapse the box, would you still be able to breathe?
No, the pressure within your blood and lungs would be greater than that outside your body, therefore your blood would boil and you would expand and cook :) Apart from that you would feel great :)
 
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crumbla146

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Sep 17, 2012
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if u want to know what would happen too your body if u drifted into space watch a film called event horizon. its pretty much your veins exploding and your blood boiling and eyes popping out of sockets kinda thing