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We use a dashed line to indicate that the image is virtual.

Khan academy video on mirrors - 1

Spherical mirrors

The second class of mirrors that we will look at are spherical mirrors. These mirrors are called spherical mirrors because if you take a sphere and cut it as shown in [link] and then polish the inside of one and the outside of the other, you will get a concave mirror and convex mirror as shown. These two mirrors will be studied in detail.

The centre of curvature is the point at the centre of the sphere and describes how big the sphere is.

When a sphere is cut and then polished to a reflective surface on the inside a concave mirror is obtained. When the outside is polished to a reflective surface, a convex mirror is obtained.

Concave mirrors

The first type of curved mirror we will study are concave mirrors. Concave mirrors have the shape shown in [link] . As with a plane mirror, the principal axis is a line that is perpendicular to the centre of the mirror.

Concave mirror with principal axis.

If you think of light reflecting off a concave mirror, you will immediately see that things will look very different compared to a plane mirror. The easiest way to understand what will happen is to draw a ray diagram and work out where the images will form. Once we have done that it is easy to see what properties the image has.

First we need to define a very important characteristic of the mirror. We have seen that the centre of curvature is the centre of the sphere from which the mirror is cut. We then define that a distance that is half-way between the centre of curvature and the mirror on the principal axis. This point is known as the focal point and the distance from the focal point to the mirror is known as the focal length (symbol f ). Since the focal point is the midpoint of the line segment joining the vertex and the center of curvature, the focal length would be one-half the radius of curvature. This fact can come in very handy, remember if you know one then you know the other!

Focal Point

The focal point of a mirror is the midpoint of a line segment joining the vertex and the centre of curvature. It is the position at which all parallel rays are focussed.

Why are we making such a big deal about this point we call the focal point? It has an important property we will use often. A ray parallel to the principal axis hitting the mirror will always be reflected through the focal point. The focal point is the position at which all parallel rays are focussed .

All light rays pass through the focal point.
A concave mirror with three rays drawn to locate the image. Each incident ray is reflected according to the Law of Reflection. The intersection of the reflected rays gives the location of the image. Here the image is real and inverted.

From [link] , we see that the image created by a concave mirror is real and inverted, as compared to the virtual and erect image created by a plane mirror.

Real Image

A real image can be cast on a screen; it is inverted, and on the same side of the mirror as the object.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Maths test. OpenStax CNX. Feb 09, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11236/1.2
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