The Penrose Unilluminable Room

Application ID: 108331

An interesting question was raised in the 1950s by the mathematician Ernst Straus that, in an arbitrarily shaped empty room with side walls made of perfect mirrors, will a point light source always illuminate the whole room? This question was answered by the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician Sir Roger Penrose and hence his design is termed the “Penrose unilluminable room”. However, is the Penrose unilluminable room really unilluminable? In this tutorial model, we will see if that’s the case and discuss the fundamental assumption of ray optics.

A more detailed description of this model can be found in our blog post "Investigating the Penrose Unilluminable Room with Ray Optics".

This model example illustrates applications of this type that would nominally be built using the following products: