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The three types of images formed by mirrors (cases 1, 2, and 3) are exactly analogous to those formed by lenses, as summarized in the table at the end of "Image Formation by Lenses". It is easiest to concentrate on only three types of images—then remember that concave mirrors act like convex lenses, whereas convex mirrors act like concave lenses.

Take-home experiment: concave mirrors close to home

Find a flashlight and identify the curved mirror used in it. Find another flashlight and shine the first flashlight onto the second one, which is turned off. Estimate the focal length of the mirror. You might try shining a flashlight on the curved mirror behind the headlight of a car, keeping the headlight switched off, and determine its focal length.

Problem-solving strategy for mirrors

Step 1. Examine the situation to determine that image formation by a mirror is involved.

Step 2. Refer to the "Problem-Solving Strategies for Lenses". The same strategies are valid for mirrors as for lenses with one qualification—use the ray tracing rules for mirrors listed earlier in this section.

Section summary

  • The characteristics of an image formed by a flat mirror are: (a) The image and object are the same distance from the mirror, (b) The image is a virtual image, and (c) The image is situated behind the mirror.
  • Image length is half the radius of curvature.
    f = R 2 size 12{f= { {R} over {2} } } {}
  • A convex mirror is a diverging mirror and forms only one type of image, namely a virtual image.

Conceptual questions

What are the differences between real and virtual images? How can you tell (by looking) whether an image formed by a single lens or mirror is real or virtual?

Can you see a virtual image? Can you photograph one? Can one be projected onto a screen with additional lenses or mirrors? Explain your responses.

Is it necessary to project a real image onto a screen for it to exist?

At what distance is an image always located—at d o size 12{d rSub { size 8{o} } } {} , d i size 12{d rSub { size 8{i} } } {} , or f size 12{f} {} ?

Under what circumstances will an image be located at the focal point of a lens or mirror?

What is meant by a negative magnification? What is meant by a magnification that is less than 1 in magnitude?

Can a case 1 image be larger than the object even though its magnification is always negative? Explain.

[link] shows a light bulb between two mirrors. One mirror produces a beam of light with parallel rays; the other keeps light from escaping without being put into the beam. Where is the filament of the light in relation to the focal point or radius of curvature of each mirror?

Two concave mirrors of different sizes are placed facing one another. A filament bulb is placed at the focus of the larger mirror. The rays after reflection from the larger mirror travel parallel to one another. The rays falling on the smaller mirror retrace their paths.
The two mirrors trap most of the bulb’s light and form a directional beam as in a headlight.

Devise an arrangement of mirrors allowing you to see the back of your head. What is the minimum number of mirrors needed for this task?

If you wish to see your entire body in a flat mirror (from head to toe), how tall should the mirror be? Does its size depend upon your distance away from the mirror? Provide a sketch.

It can be argued that a flat mirror has an infinite focal length. If so, where does it form an image? That is, how are d i size 12{d rSub { size 8{i} } } {} and d o size 12{d rSub { size 8{o} } } {} related?

Why are diverging mirrors often used for rear-view mirrors in vehicles? What is the main disadvantage of using such a mirror compared with a flat one?


What is the focal length of a makeup mirror that has a power of 1.50 D?

+0.667 m

Some telephoto cameras use a mirror rather than a lens. What radius of curvature mirror is needed to replace a 800 mm focal length telephoto lens?

(a) Calculate the focal length of the mirror formed by the shiny back of a spoon that has a 3.00 cm radius of curvature. (b) What is its power in diopters?

(a) –1.5 × 10 –2 m

(b) –66.7 D

Find the magnification of the heater element in [link] . Note that its large magnitude helps spread out the reflected energy.

What is the focal length of a makeup mirror that produces a magnification of 1.50 when a person’s face is 12.0 cm away?

+0.360 m (concave)

A shopper standing 3.00 m from a convex security mirror sees his image with a magnification of 0.250. (a) Where is his image? (b) What is the focal length of the mirror? (c) What is its radius of curvature?

An object 1.50 cm high is held 3.00 cm from a person’s cornea, and its reflected image is measured to be 0.167 cm high. (a) What is the magnification? (b) Where is the image? (c) Find the radius of curvature of the convex mirror formed by the cornea. (Note that this technique is used by optometrists to measure the curvature of the cornea for contact lens fitting. The instrument used is called a keratometer, or curve measurer.)

(a) +0.111

(b) -0.334 cm (behind “mirror”)

(c) 0.752cm

Ray tracing for a flat mirror shows that the image is located a distance behind the mirror equal to the distance of the object from the mirror. This is stated d i = –d o size 12{d rSub { size 8{o} } } {} , since this is a negative image distance (it is a virtual image). (a) What is the focal length of a flat mirror? (b) What is its power?

Show that for a flat mirror h i = h o , knowing that the image is a distance behind the mirror equal in magnitude to the distance of the object from the mirror.

m = h i h o = d i d o = d o d o = d o d o = 1 h i = h o

Use the law of reflection to prove that the focal length of a mirror is half its radius of curvature. That is, prove that f = R / 2 size 12{f=R/2} {} . Note this is true for a spherical mirror only if its diameter is small compared with its radius of curvature.

Referring to the electric room heater considered in the first example in this section, calculate the intensity of IR radiation in W/m 2 size 12{"W/m" rSup { size 8{2} } } {} projected by the concave mirror on a person 3.00 m away. Assume that the heating element radiates 1500 W and has an area of 100 cm 2 size 12{"100"" cm" rSup { size 8{2} } } {} , and that half of the radiated power is reflected and focused by the mirror.

6.82 k W/m 2 size 12{6 "." "82"" kW/m" rSup { size 8{2} } } {}

Consider a 250-W heat lamp fixed to the ceiling in a bathroom. If the filament in one light burns out then the remaining three still work. Construct a problem in which you determine the resistance of each filament in order to obtain a certain intensity projected on the bathroom floor. The ceiling is 3.0 m high. The problem will need to involve concave mirrors behind the filaments. Your instructor may wish to guide you on the level of complexity to consider in the electrical components.

Questions & Answers

suppose you are the manager of a perfect competitive firm. your total cost of production is given by TC=100+Q2 suppose you are told that the price of their services is $60 1. how much output should you produce to maximise profit? show calculations 2. determine the level of profit
Niza Reply
what is price control
Raphael Reply
importance of scale of preference
Offei Reply
what are the factors that affect international organization
Imeobong Reply
Organizational structure,communication,mission
what is international organization
Imeobong Reply
discuss how international organization affect business in Nigeria
An international organization is an organization with an international membership, scope, or presence.
importance of scale of preference
demand curve
demand uuu
supply curve
what is price control
what are the factors that affect demand and commodity
Beatrice Reply
if a firm stays on the same isoquant it means ? a. output missteps decrease b. output must stay. the same c. output must increase d. quantity of labour and capital employed must remain the same e. none
Niza Reply
which one is the right answer pls
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d) none. because isoquants meant different combination of inputs give same level of out and higher the isoquants gives higher the level of output
answ. d.quantity of labour and capital employed must remain equal
analyse this table showing how this affect the law of diminishing demand return
michael Reply
What are diminishing marginal returns as they relate to costs?
what are diminishing demand
please can you explain it to me because am new to economics
the law of diminishing state that as more and more variable factor is added to a fixed cost, it will increase first and later its begins to fall until its get to zero. that were ur mc equal to zero
thanks dr
The law of diminishing demand states that, if the price of a product is raised, a smaller quantity will be demanded and if the price of a product is lowered, a greater quantity will be demanded.
The law of diminishing returns, also referred to as the law of diminishing marginal returns, states that in a production process, as one input variable is increased, there will be a point at which the marginal per unit output will start to decrease, ceteris puribus
guys I need to know what is meant by basic economic mathematics and explain please
Lovemore Reply
It's also the usage of mathematical tools to express and analyse economic problems.
so basically it's the use of mathematical formulas to solve the problems under demand and supply right...
Yes, though economic analysis majorly has to deal with demand and supply forces in fact the back bone of economics rest on demand and supply but there are other functions like consumption function, implicit ,explicit, monotonic( constant, increasing, decreasing), transcendential, homogeneous, polyn
wat improvement do economic has with our life
Aminata Reply
it help us how to use our limited resources to satisfy our unlimited wants
Economics assit in understanding the pre-requisite for Growth and developmen and how the workings of the economy operates.
Economic helps us to manager our limited resources, how to expand it, etc over unlimited want
Economics is the social Science in which we study how scarce resources are allocated for the betterment of human being.
Ali Reply
what is equilibrium point
Happiness Reply
where price and quantity demanded meet
is the point where price an quantity demanded meet
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Equilibrium point is the point at which quantity demand equals quantity supply.
What is monopoly
Ezekiel Reply
Is a strict example of an imperfect market where there is only one seller and many buyer for a particular product.
what is economics
economics us behavior. Of people, nations, markets etc. It has much to do with reactions. watch MSNBC. Bloomberg. everyday they talk about how the markets react to an piece of news, legislation, interest rates etc. Interesting volatile stuff
but, it also react with science
economic is a science with study's the behavior of people,market and price
it's a science which study the behavior of people ,market n price
What is opportunity cost?
opp. cost~a benefit, profit or value of something that must be given up to acquire or achieve something else
or something that you foregone
who is the father of economic
Yirtutey Reply
Adam smith
modern father is Adam smith
Adam smith
Jeannette has $5 and $10 bills in her wallet. The number of fives is three more than six times the number of tens. Let t represent the number of tens. Write an expression for the number of fives.
August Reply
What is the expressiin for seven less than four times the number of nickels
Leonardo Reply
How do i figure this problem out.
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
I think if critical temperature denote high temperature then a liquid stats boils that time the water stats to evaporate so some moles of h2o to up and due to high temp the bonding break they have low density so it can be a reason
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Concepts of physics. OpenStax CNX. Aug 25, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11738/1.5
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