Concave and Convex mirrors:
a quick introduction
Dave Coulson, 2008/2014
This is a concave mirror
(it looks a bit like a cave)
If an object is placed in front of the
mirror, where will its image appear?
?? ?
How big will the image be?
?? ?
Will it be inverted or upright?
?? ?
First, some definitions:
The pole is a line at the average
position of the mirror surface.
It’s treated as the mirror surface.
Pretend all light re...
(This is usually much further from the mirror than is shown in this picture)
The radius of curvature
is the centre of the ...
A line that passes through the radius of curvature will reflect back on its path.
The radius of curvature
is the centre of...
The focal point is halfway between
the radius of curvature and the pole
A line that strikes the mirror parallel
to its axis will pass through the focal
point
The focal point is halfway between
t...
A line that strikes the mirror at its
centre will reflect at the same angle
These three lines locate
the position of the image
di
f
do
d0 = distance to the object
di = distance to the image
f = distance to the focal point
Object
Image
The position c...
3f
di
f
Object
Image
Say, for example, that the object is three times as far from the mirror
as the focal point.
3f
f
3/2 fObject
Image
The image will be halfway
between the radius of curvature and the focal point.
3/2 f
ho
hi
f
Object
Image
The size of the image can also be calculated:
3f
3f
f
3/2 f
hi
ho
hiObject
Image
The size of the image can also be calculated:
3/2 f
3f
f
ho
hiObject
Image
The negative sign means
the image is upside down
3/2 f
If the object is moved to a point
between the radius of curvature and the
focal point, where does the image go?
3/2 f
3/2 f
3f
Now shift the object between the
mirror surface and the focal
point. Where is the image now?
Now shift the object between the
mirror surface and the focal
point. Where is the image now?
...and how big will it be?
We can verify this
geometrically
An image ‘inside’
the mirror is called
a virtual image.
Convex mirrors
Convex mirrors
Convex mirrors
Note that the focal point
is ‘inside’ the mirror.
Its distance is treated as a negative number.
di is the same sign as f, which means
that the image is ‘inside’ the mirror.
Say do = - 2.5f
M is a positive number, which means that the image is upright.
Size calculation:
Say do = - ½ f
Size calculation:
For a convex mirror, no matter where you put the object,
the image will always be upright and ‘inside’ the mirror (i.e., ‘...
That’s all
dtcoulson@gmail.com
Optics
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Optics

  1. 1. Concave and Convex mirrors: a quick introduction Dave Coulson, 2008/2014
  2. 2. This is a concave mirror (it looks a bit like a cave)
  3. 3. If an object is placed in front of the mirror, where will its image appear? ?? ?
  4. 4. How big will the image be? ?? ?
  5. 5. Will it be inverted or upright? ?? ?
  6. 6. First, some definitions:
  7. 7. The pole is a line at the average position of the mirror surface. It’s treated as the mirror surface. Pretend all light reflects from the pole. First, some definitions: Most mirrors are only very slightly curved so the pole is very close to the mirror surface. In most cases it is okay to treat the pole and the mirror surface as one and the same.
  8. 8. (This is usually much further from the mirror than is shown in this picture) The radius of curvature is the centre of the circle defining the mirror surface.
  9. 9. A line that passes through the radius of curvature will reflect back on its path. The radius of curvature is the centre of the circle defining the mirror surface.
  10. 10. The focal point is halfway between the radius of curvature and the pole
  11. 11. A line that strikes the mirror parallel to its axis will pass through the focal point The focal point is halfway between the radius of curvature and the pole
  12. 12. A line that strikes the mirror at its centre will reflect at the same angle
  13. 13. These three lines locate the position of the image
  14. 14. di f do d0 = distance to the object di = distance to the image f = distance to the focal point Object Image The position can also be found by calculation:
  15. 15. 3f di f Object Image Say, for example, that the object is three times as far from the mirror as the focal point.
  16. 16. 3f f 3/2 fObject Image The image will be halfway between the radius of curvature and the focal point.
  17. 17. 3/2 f ho hi f Object Image The size of the image can also be calculated: 3f
  18. 18. 3f f 3/2 f hi ho hiObject Image The size of the image can also be calculated:
  19. 19. 3/2 f 3f f ho hiObject Image The negative sign means the image is upside down
  20. 20. 3/2 f If the object is moved to a point between the radius of curvature and the focal point, where does the image go?
  21. 21. 3/2 f
  22. 22. 3/2 f 3f
  23. 23. Now shift the object between the mirror surface and the focal point. Where is the image now?
  24. 24. Now shift the object between the mirror surface and the focal point. Where is the image now?
  25. 25. ...and how big will it be?
  26. 26. We can verify this geometrically An image ‘inside’ the mirror is called a virtual image.
  27. 27. Convex mirrors
  28. 28. Convex mirrors
  29. 29. Convex mirrors Note that the focal point is ‘inside’ the mirror. Its distance is treated as a negative number.
  30. 30. di is the same sign as f, which means that the image is ‘inside’ the mirror. Say do = - 2.5f
  31. 31. M is a positive number, which means that the image is upright. Size calculation:
  32. 32. Say do = - ½ f
  33. 33. Size calculation:
  34. 34. For a convex mirror, no matter where you put the object, the image will always be upright and ‘inside’ the mirror (i.e., ‘virtual’)
  35. 35. That’s all dtcoulson@gmail.com
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