Right Angle Mirror
Computer and School Network; Protractor and Ruler
3 Class Days
The purpose of this lab is to use the law of reflection and ray
diagrams to investigate how images are formed by right angle mirrors
and to compare the features of the various images.
- Log on to the server in the usual manner.
- Open the HyperCard application found in the Multimedia folder.
- From the File menu, choose Open... . A
directory dialogue box will open. Navigate to the Physics Stacks
and open the file titled Right
Click anywhere on the title card of the
stack. By so doing, you will navigate to the main card. A miniature
snapshot of the appropriate card is shown below. Directions are
included in the text field on the left side of the card.
Part 1: Image Formation by Right Angle
- Upon reading the on-screen directions, click on three spots
between the right angle mirrors. After each click, three lines of
sight will be drawn. Each line of sight corresponds to the
direction in which an eye must look to view each image.
- Once three eye locations have been chosen and three lines of
sight corresponding to each of the three eye locations have been
drawn, print the diagram. This diagram will subsequently be used
for the completion of the lab.
- Using dashed lines, extend each of the lines of sight
backwards beyond the mirror. You should notice something distinct
about these extensions lines. This will help you later on the
post-lab questions and the conclusion.
- For each line of sight (representing a light ray reflected
from the mirror to a given eye location), draw the corresponding
incident rays. Use a protractor and be as accurate as possible.
Some of the light rays actually undergo a double reflection on the
way from the object to the eye. Show this by completing the ray
tracing for all light rays which begin at the object, travel to
the mirror and reflect to the eye. Place arrows upon all light
rays to indicate their direction of travel.
- You have completed your diagram for Part 1. Submit the
completed diagram with this lab sheet. Use the diagram to answer
the post-lab questions.
Part 2: Comparison of Images Formed by
Right Angle Mirrors
- Click on the button titled "To Part 2." A new card will appear
which looks as follows.
- This card allows you to view the appearance of various images
as viewed in a right angle mirror. The front view of what you
would see in the various faces of the mirror is shown at the left
and a top view of the situation is shown at the right. Buttons can
be used to change the face of the mirror and to raise the left or
the right hand. Click on the various buttons and make
observations, comparing how the middle images differ from those
seen in the side faces of a right angle mirror.
Record some observations below. Use your
observations to assist with the post-lab questions below.
- Describe what you observe about the extensions of all lines of
- If all students in a classroom look at the left image
of a candle in a right angle mirror, will they all look in the
same direction? ________ Justify your answer.
- Describe the location of the three images formed by a right
angle mirror by comparing the distance from the object to the
mirror to the distance from the image to the mirror.
- Draw a line is from the object through the crease of
the mirror. Describe what you notice.
- Draw a generalization about what each light ray which
undergoes a double reflection have in common.
- Explain how the middle image in a right
angle mirror differs from the side images.
- If you were to look at the three images
of your NIKE shirt in a right angle mirror, what would you
observe? Explain fully.
- For the following set of mirrors, locate
all images. Show all ray constructions clearly.
- On the following diagram, locate the
three images of the object and show how light travels from the
object to the eye in order of the eye to view the
image of the given object.
Describe in detail how light rays from an object can produce three
images for right angle mirrors. Be extensive and use the language of
physics. Then compare the features of the various images in a right
angle mirror and provide an explanation of why the middle image
differs from the other two. Do a bang-up job!
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This page created by
Henderson and last updated on 8/7/97.