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Lesson 1: Reflection and its Importance

The Role of Light to Sight

The Line of Sight

The Law of Reflection

Specular vs. Diffuse Reflection

 

Lesson 2: Image Formation in Plane Mirrors

Why is an Image Formed?

Image Characteristics

Ray Diagrams

What Portion of a Mirror is Required

Right Angle Mirrors

Other Multiple Mirror Systems

 

Lesson 3: Concave Mirrors

The Anatomy of a Curved Mirror

Reflection and Image Formation

Two Rules of Reflection

Ray Diagrams

Image Characteristics

The Mirror Equation

Spherical Aberration

 

Lesson 4 : Convex Mirrors

Reflection and Image Formation

Ray Diagrams

Image Characteristics

The Mirror Equation

 

Lesson 3: Concave Mirrors

Two Rules of Reflection for Concave Mirrors

Light always reflects according to the law of reflection, regardless of whether the reflection occurs off a flat surface or a curved surface. Using reflection laws allows one to determine the image location for an object. The image location is the location where all reflected light appears to diverge from. Thus to determine this location demands that one merely needs to know how light reflects off a mirror. In the previous section of Lesson 3, the image of an object for a concave mirror was determined by tracing the path of light as it emanated from an object and reflected off a concave mirror. The image was merely that location where all reflected rays intersected. The use of the law of reflection to determine a reflected ray is not an easy task. For each incident ray, a normal line at the point of incidence on a curved surface must be drawn and then the law of reflection must be applied. A simpler method of determining a reflected ray is needed.

The simpler method relies on two rules of reflection for concave mirrors. They are:

These two rules of reflection are illustrated in the diagram below.

 

These two rules will greatly simplify the task of determining the image locations for objects placed in front of concave mirrors. In the next section of Lesson 3, these two rules will be applied to determine the location, orientation, size and type of image produced by a concave mirror. As the rules are applied in the construction of ray diagrams, do not forget the fact that the law of reflection holds for each of these rays. It just so happens that when the law of reflection is applied for a ray (either traveling parallel to the principal axis or passing through F) which strikes the mirror at a location near the principal axis, the ray will reflect in close approximation with the above two rules.

 

 

 

 

Lesson 3: Concave Mirrors

 

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