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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

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit 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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