# What is the difference between a concave and a convex mirror?

What is the difference between a concave and a convex mirror? A concave mirror and a convex mirror are both types of spherical mirrors, which means they have curved surface that reflects light. The main difference between them is how they reflect light and the types of images they form.

## Concave mirror

A concave mirror is a spherical mirror that curves inward, like the inside of a spoon. It is also known as a converging mirror because it reflects light rays in such a way that they converge at a point called the focal point. The focal point is located along the principal axis of the mirror, which is an imaginary line that passes through the center of the sphere of which the mirror is a part.

When light rays from an object reflect off a concave mirror, they converge at the focal point. The distance between the object and the mirror is known as the object distance (u), and the distance between the image and the mirror is known as the image distance (v). The relationship between the object distance, image distance, and focal length (f) of the mirror is given by the mirror formula:

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1/f = 1/u + 1/v

If the object is placed beyond the focal point, a real image is formed that is inverted and smaller than the object. If the object is placed between the mirror and the focal point, a virtual image is formed that is upright and larger than the object. Concave mirrors are commonly used in telescopes, microscopes, and other optical instruments to focus light and form images. They are also used in car headlights and searchlights to concentrate the light in a specific direction.

## A convex mirror

A convex mirror is a spherical mirror that curves outward, like the back of a spoon. It is also known as a diverging mirror because it reflects light rays in such a way that they diverge away from each other. The focal point for a convex mirror is a virtual point behind the mirror.

When light rays from an object reflect off a convex mirror, they diverge away from each other. The image formed by a convex mirror is always virtual, upright, and smaller than the object. The distance between the object and the mirror is known as the object distance (u), and the distance between the image and the mirror is known as the image distance (v). The relationship between the object distance, image distance, and focal length (f) of the mirror is given by the mirror formula:

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1/f = 1/u + 1/v

Convex mirrors are commonly used as side-view mirrors on cars since they provide a wider field of view than flat mirrors. They are also used in security cameras, store mirrors, and other applications where a wide-angle view is needed. Because they do not form real images, convex mirrors cannot be used to focus light or form images in the same way that concave mirrors can.

## The difference between a concave and a convex mirror

A concave mirror is a spherical mirror that curves inward, like the inside of a spoon. When light rays from an object reflect off a concave mirror, they converge at a point called the focal point. The image formed by a concave mirror can be either real or virtual, depending on where the object is placed relative to the focal point. If the object is placed beyond the focal point, a real image is formed that is inverted and smaller than the object. If the object is placed between the mirror and the focal point, a virtual image is formed that is upright and larger than the object.

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A convex mirror, on the other hand, is a spherical mirror that curves outward, like the back of a spoon. When light rays from an object reflect off a convex mirror, they diverge away from each other. The focal point for a convex mirror is a virtual point behind the mirror. The image formed by a convex mirror is always virtual, upright, and smaller than the object. Convex mirrors are commonly used as side-view mirrors on cars, since they provide a wider field of view.

In summary, concave mirrors reflect light inward and form real or virtual images depending on the position of the object relative to the focal point, while convex mirrors to reflect light outward and always form virtual images that are smaller than the object.