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Convex Mirror vs. Concave Mirror: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 15, 2024
Convex mirrors curve outward, diverging light rays to form reduced images, while concave mirrors curve inward, converging light to magnify or project images.
Convex Mirror vs. Concave Mirror

Key Differences

A convex mirror is a spherical mirror with its reflecting surface bulging outwards. A concave mirror has a reflecting surface that caves inward, resembling a portion of a sphere.
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In convex mirrors, images appear smaller than the actual object, providing a wider field of view. Images in concave mirrors can be magnified, making them useful in applications like makeup mirrors.
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They are used in vehicle side mirrors for a broader view, minimizing blind spots. These mirrors can focus light to a single point, making them ideal for concentrating light.
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Unlike concave mirrors, convex mirrors cannot focus light to a point. In telescopes and headlights, concave mirrors are used for their focusing properties.
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Comparison Chart

Shape

Bulges outward
Caves inward
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Image Formation

Forms reduced, virtual images
Can form magnified, real or virtual images
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Focal Point

Virtual, behind the mirror
Real, in front of the mirror
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Uses

Wide-angle viewing, e.g., vehicle mirrors
Focusing light, e.g., telescopes, headlights
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Light Rays

Diverge light rays
Converge light rays
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Convex Mirror and Concave Mirror Definitions

Convex Mirror

Convex mirrors are designed to diverge light, creating a wider field of view.
To avoid blind spots, trucks often use convex mirrors.
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Concave Mirror

Concave mirrors are integral in devices that require light concentration.
The lighthouse's concave mirror helped focus the beam of light far into the sea.
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Convex Mirror

Convex mirrors are used for their ability to provide a panoramic view.
Convex mirrors are commonly found in parking garages for safer navigation.
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Concave Mirror

Concave mirrors can produce magnified images, making them useful in various optical devices.
She used a concave mirror as a makeup mirror for its enlarging effect.
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Convex Mirror

This type of mirror forms virtual, upright, and reduced images.
In her art installation, she used a convex mirror to create unique, distorted reflections.
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Concave Mirror

These mirrors are capable of focusing light to a single point.
In science class, we used a concave mirror to focus sunlight and start a fire.
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Convex Mirror

A convex mirror is a curved mirror with the reflective surface bulging outward.
The store used a convex mirror for security, allowing staff to see around corners.
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Concave Mirror

The image formed by a concave mirror can be real or virtual, depending on the object's distance.
The dentist used a concave mirror to see a magnified image of teeth.
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Convex Mirror

These mirrors are not used to focus light but to spread it.
The convex mirror in the hallway made the narrow space seem more open.
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Concave Mirror

A concave mirror is a curved mirror with the reflective surface caving inward.
The concave mirror in the telescope provided a clear, magnified view of distant stars.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Why do convex mirrors not form real images?

Because they diverge light rays, which never actually meet to form a real image.
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Can a convex mirror magnify objects?

No, it generally creates smaller, reduced images.
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Where are convex mirrors typically used?

They are used in vehicle side mirrors, surveillance, and in areas requiring a wide field of view.
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How do convex mirrors enhance safety in vehicles?

By providing a wider field of view and reducing blind spots.
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What is the nature of the image formed by a convex mirror?

The image formed by a convex mirror is always virtual, erect, and smaller than the object.
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What happens to parallel rays of light when they strike a convex mirror?

Parallel rays of light diverge or spread out after reflection from a convex mirror.
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What is the focal point of a concave mirror?

Concave mirrors have a real focal point when the object is located beyond the focal point; otherwise, it's virtual.
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How do concave mirrors focus light?

They converge incoming light rays to a focal point in front of the mirror.
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What is a convex mirror?

A convex mirror is a curved, outward-bulging mirror that diverges light rays.
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What is a concave mirror?

A concave mirror is a curved mirror with an inward-bending reflective surface.
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What are the uses of concave mirrors?

They are used in telescopes, headlights, shaving/makeup mirrors, and in scientific instruments.
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What is the difference between the reflective surfaces of convex and concave mirrors?

Convex mirrors bulge outward, while concave mirrors curve inward, determining their reflective properties.
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What happens to parallel rays of light when they strike a concave mirror?

Parallel rays of light converge or come together after reflection from a concave mirror.
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How does the size of an object affect its image in a convex mirror?

Objects appear smaller in a convex mirror than they are in reality.
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Is the reflection from a convex mirror distorted?

Yes, the reflection in a convex mirror is distorted, making objects appear farther than they actually are.
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What is the nature of the image formed by a concave mirror when the object is outside the focal point?

The image is real, inverted, and can be either magnified or diminished.
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Is the reflection from a concave mirror distorted?

Reflection from a concave mirror can be distorted when the object is located far from the mirror.
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How does the size of an object affect its image in a concave mirror?

The size of the object can result in either a magnified or diminished image, depending on its position.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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