10 Difference Between Concave And Convex Mirror (With Examples)

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A concave mirror is a spherical mirror in which the reflecting surface and the center of curvature fall on the same side of the mirror. Concave mirrors show different type of images, depending on the distance between the mirror and the object reflected. This type of mirrors are used quite frequently in day-to-day life.  Examples are shaving and makeup mirrors, headlights, microscopes and telescopes.

 A convex mirror is a spherical reflecting surface in which its bulging side faces the source of light. Now, given they reflect light outwards, they cannot be used to focus light. Convex mirrors form a virtual image, since the focal point (F) and the centre of curvature (2f) are both imaginary points inside the mirror that cannot be reached. As a result, images formed by these mirrors cannot be projected on the screen, since the image is inside the mirror. The image is smaller than the object, but gets larger as the object approaches the mirror.  More importantly, convex mirrors have wider fields of view than other reflective surfaces, such as plane mirrors or concave mirrors; they are thus commonly used in automobile side mirrors and as a security device in stores and hallways.

In this article, get to understand more details about the concave and convex mirrors, their image properties, additional uses and other related details.

Key Differences

Definition

A concave mirror is a spherical mirror in which the reflecting surface and the center of curvature fall on the same side of the mirror. In contrast, a convex mirror is a spherical mirror in which the reflecting surface and the center of curvature lie on the opposite sides of the mirror.

Image

Concave mirrors form real and inverted images whereas convex mirrors form virtual and upright images.

Nature of the image formed

The images formed by the concave mirrors are magnified in nature whereas; the images formed by the convex mirrors are diminished in nature.

Size of the image formed

The object in the image formed by the concave mirror appears larger than the original size of the object. On the other hand, the object in the image formed by the convex mirror appears smaller than the original size of the object.

Effect of the position of object on imaged

Concave mirrors form real and inverted images except when the object is between the pole and focus. Conversely, convex mirrors form virtual and upright images irrespective of the position of the object.

Focal point

The focal point of the concave mirror lies in front of the mirror whereas in the case of convex mirror, the focal point lies behind the mirror.

Alternative Name

Concave mirror is also referred to as a converging mirror because when parallel light beams falls on the mirror surface, they reflect and converge at a point. Conversely, a convex mirror can also be referred to as diverging mirror because when the light beams arise from the same source will reflect and diverge.

Examples in Daily life

The examples of concave mirrors are the mirrors used in automobile head lights, shaving mirrors, satellite dishes, magnifying glasses, electron microscope, bomb detectors, Flash light mirror of cameras, reflecting telescopes, and torch lights. In contrast, Examples of convex mirrors are the mirrors used as rear side mirror of vehicles, sunglasses, calling bell, used in hotel, stores and apartment buildings.

Application in real life

Concave mirror is used in the solar furnace, whereby the sun rays are focused at a point by the concave mirror. The concentrated beam of sunlight at a point increases the temperature at that point. On the other hand, convex mirror are used as the rear mirror of the vehicles because, the convex mirror enables the driver to view large area of traffic behind him by forming a small image of the vehicles.

Similarities between Concave and Convex mirrors

  • Both mirrors are spherical in nature.
  • In both mirrors, the image is located behind the mirror.

Difference Between Convex And Concave Mirrors In Tabular Form

Elements Of Comparison Concave Mirror Convex Mirror
Definition A concave mirror is a spherical mirror in which the reflecting surface and the center of curvature fall on the same side of the mirror. Convex mirror is a spherical mirror in which the reflecting surface and the center of curvature lie on the opposite sides of the mirror.  
Image Forms real and inverted images Form virtual and upright images.
Nature of the Image Formed The images formed are magnified in nature. The images formed are diminished in nature.  
Size of the Image The object in the image formed appears larger than the original size of the object. The object in the image formed appears smaller than the original size of the object.
Effect of the position of object on imaged    Forms real and inverted images except when the object is between the pole and focus. Forms virtual and upright images irrespective of the position of the object.  
The Focal Point The focal point of the concave mirror lies in front of the mirror. The focal point lies behind the mirror.  
Alternative Name A Concave mirror is also referred to as a converging mirror because when parallel light beams falls on the mirror surface, they reflect and converge at a point. A convex mirror can also be referred to as diverging mirror because when the light beams arise from the same source will reflect and diverge.
Examples in Daily Life The examples of concave mirrors are the mirrors used in automobile head lights, shaving mirrors, satellite dishes, magnifying glasses, electron microscope, bomb detectors, Flash light mirror of cameras, reflecting telescopes, and torch lights. Examples of convex mirrors are the mirrors used as rear side mirror of vehicles, sunglasses, calling bell, used in hotel, stores and apartment buildings.
Application in Real Life Concave mirror is used in the solar furnace, whereby the sun rays are focused at a point by the concave mirror. The concentrated beam of sunlight at a point increases the temperature at that point. Convex mirror are used as the rear mirror of the vehicles because, the convex mirror enables the driver to view large area of traffic behind him by forming a small image of the vehicles.  

Summary

A concave mirror is a spherical mirror in which the reflecting surface and the center of curvature fall on the same side of the mirror. In contrast, a convex mirror is a spherical mirror in which the reflecting surface and the center of curvature lie on the opposite sides of the mirror.