Physics

# Difference between Convex and Concave Mirror

Mirror refers to any smooth polished or shining surface, that can reflect the light beam and form images. A convex mirror has a reflecting surface that bulges outside. Convex means rounded or curved like the exterior of a circle or sphere. In these, the incident ray which emerges from the same point reflects off and moves in a different direction. On the contrary, in a concave mirror, the reflecting surface bulges inwards. Concave means rounded or hollowed like the interior of a circle or sphere.

The main difference between a convex and concave mirror lies in the image formed by the two mirrors, i.e. while convex mirror forms diminished image, the concave mirror either forms an enlarged image or a diminished one, depending upon the position of the object.

The image formed by a convex mirror is a virtual image, while a concave mirror forms a real or virtual image, depending on the position of the object.

Difference between Convex and Concave Mirror

CONVEX MIRROR

• The type of spherical mirror whose reflecting surface is bulged outwards, in the sense that its face is opposite to the center of the sphere is known as a convex mirror.
• Convex mirror implies the mirror whose reflecting surface is away from the center of curvature.
• A convex mirror is also called a diverging mirror as the light beam arising from the same source will reflect and diverge.
• Convex Mirror or otherwise called a diverging mirror, as the incident ray emerging from the same source (point), will reflect off and move in a different direction.
• It is a type of spherical mirror, wherein the reflective surface is curved outwards, i.e. the source of light. It forms a virtual image when after reflecting from the mirror, the ray of light meets at a definite point.
• Convex mirrors are used as rear-view mirrors in cars, to enable the driver to see the traffic behind him.

CONCAVE MIRROR

• A curved mirror whose reflecting surface is bent inwards, i.e. it faces towards the center of the sphere is called a concave mirror.
• A concave mirror refers to the mirror whose reflecting surface is towards the center of curvature.
• A concave mirror is a converging mirror, as when a parallel light beam falls on the mirror, they reflect and converge at a point.
• The concave mirror is the converging mirror, due to the fact that when parallel incident rays fall on the surface of the mirror, the rays will reflect and meet at a particular point, i.e. focal point.
• The reflecting surface of a concave mirror bent inward to focus, i.e. away from the light source. When the light is bounded by the curve up to a particular area, they form an image.
• Concave mirrors are used in torches and vehicle headlights.

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