<< Back to Lessons Index

Science_Lab_Yellow / Lesson 4: Curved Mirrors Form Images

Curved Mirrors Form Images

What will we be learning today?

  • In this lesson, we are going to learn all about how do curved mirrors form images.

  • How Do Curved Mirrors Form Images?

    Mirrors that curve in on the shiny side are concave mirrors, while mirrors that curve out on the shiny side are convex mirrors. Curved mirrors form images that are different from those formed by flat mirrors.

    How do you think the images formed by concave and convex mirrors will differ from one another? From the image formed by a flat mirror?

     Have you ever looked at your reflection in a soupspoon? You may have found that your image looked different depending on whether you were looking at the inside or the outside of the spoon's bowl. You may also have found your image changed, depending on how far away you held the spoon.

    The inside of the soupspoon behaves like a concave mirror. The outside of the spoon behaves like a convex mirror.

    Curved mirrors create a variety of images that can be of practical use. Convex mirrors always form reduced, upright images. However, concave mirrors can form many different types of images, depending on the position of the object in relation to the mirror. The illustrations on the next slide demonstrate how different kinds of mirrors form images.

    Images formed by a concave mirror depend on how far the object is from the mirror. Objects very close to the mirror produce enlarged, right-side-up images. Objects a bit farther back produce enlarged, upside-down images. As the object moves back even farther from the mirror, the image remains upside-down but gets smaller and smaller.

    Light rays coming from the candle bounce off the flat mirror and create an image on the other side of the mirror. The image in a flat mirror is always upright, life sized, and left-to-right reversed.

    Let's Review What We Learned Today!

  • Now complete your PDA!