Formation of images in spherical mirrors

In our daily lives we can find some mirrors in strategic places, for example, at the back of collective buses and in supermarkets, both with the purpose of observing people. We noticed that these mirrors have a different shape from the mirrors we have in our homes, that is, they are curved mirrors. There are several types of curved mirrors, such as: spherical, parabolic or with any curves without spherical designation. The spherical mirrors are the most important and will be discussed below.

They can be of two types: concave or convex , being applied in different areas and situations.

construction of images

convex mirror

If an object is placed in front of a convex mirror, we will use two rays to build the image. As shown in the figure, the image of the object will meet the extensions of the reflected rays.

1 – Real object before the center of curvature :

The image formed is real, inverted and smaller than the object.

2 – Real object at the center of curvature :

3 – Real object between the center of curvature and the focus :

4 – Real object in focus :

The image is improper, that is, located at infinity.

5 – Real object between focus and vertex :

The image is virtual (behind the mirror), straight and larger than the object.

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