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  • Last Modified 01-03-2024

Concave and Convex Mirrors: Definition and Differences

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Concave and Convex Mirrors: There are two types of mirrors — Plane Mirrors and Spherical Mirrors. Spherical mirrors are further divided into Concave and Convex mirrors. When the inward surface of a spherical mirror is painted, then it is considered a convex mirror, whereas when the outward surface of a spherical mirror is painted, this mirror is called a concave mirror.

To understand all the details about concave mirrors and convex mirrors, it is important to know the difference between concave and convex mirrors. Thus, on this page, we have provided all the details about the difference between concave and convex mirrors in Physics. Read on to find out more.

Difference Between Concave and Convex Mirrors

A frequently asked question in CBSE Class 10 Physics is: What are the differences between concave and convex mirrors in Physics? The answer for the same is tabulated below:

Comparison BaseConcave MirrorConvex Mirror
MeaningWhen the outer surface of a spherical mirror is painted, it forms a concave mirror.When the inner surface of a spherical mirror is painted then it is known as a convex mirror.
Other NameConcave mirrors are also called converging mirrors.Convex mirrors are otherwise called diverging mirrors.
Design A concave mirror is round or hollowed. The interior of a circle can be called concave.A convex mirror is round and curved. The exterior of a circle is known as convex.
Reflexing SurfaceOnly the inner surface reflexes here.Only the outer surface reflexes here.
Focus LengthThe focal length is positive in a concave mirror.The focal length is negative in a convex mirror.
Image TypeConcave Mirror forms both real and virtual images.The convex mirror forms only virtual images.
StructureIn a concave mirror, the reflecting surface and centre of curvature fall on the same side of the mirror.In a convex mirror, the reflecting surface and centre of curvature fall on the opposite side of the curvature.
ProjectionImages can be projected on the screen since concave mirrors form real images as well.Images cannot be projected on the screen, since they form only virtual images.
UsesConcave mirrors are widely used in vehicle headlights, torches, shaving mirrors, and much more.Convex mirrors are widely used as rearview mirrors in Cars, Bikes.
ViewConcave mirrors provide only magnified images of an objectConvex mirror provides a wider area of view of an object

Characteristics Concave Mirrors and Convex Mirrors

Here,

  1. P denotes Pole – The centre of the reflecting surface of a spherical mirror.
  2. C denotes Center of Curvature – The reflecting surface of a spherical mirror forms a part of a sphere. This sphere has a centre. This point is called the centre of curvature of the spherical mirror.
  3. R denotes Radius – The distance between the reflecting surface of a spherical mirror and the Center of Curvature is called Radius.
  4. F denotes Principal Focus: The reflected rays appear to come from a point on the principal axis. This point is called the principal focus.
  5. Principal Axis: It is an imaginary line passing through the P and the C of the spherical mirror.

Difference Between Concave, Convex, and Plane Mirrors

Another familiar question asked to students is: “Explain the difference between a plane mirror, a concave mirror, and a convex mirror with respect to the type and size of the images produced.” The answer for the same is given in tabular format below:

 Plane MirrorConcave MirrorConvex Mirror
Image TypeOnly shows the virtual or erect image.Shows virtual, real, inverted images based on the distance between object and mirror.Shows only virtual and erect images.
Image SizeSame size of the object.Magnified and diminished based on the object placement.Always diminished image.

Difference Between Convex and Concave Lens

A lens is an optical tool that converges or diverges a light beam by refraction. There are two types of lens and they are concave and convex lenses. The differences between concave and convex lenses are tabulated below:

Concave LensConvex Lens
When an optical tool diverges a light beam by refraction then it is known as a concave lens. When an optical tool converges a light beam by refraction then it is known as a convex lens.
Since it diverges the rays it is called a diverging lens.Since it converges the rays passed through it, it is known as a converging lens.
The concave lens is thicker at the edges and thinner at the centre.The convex lens is thinner at the edges ad thicker at the centre.
A concave lens is used for the correction of short-sightedness.A convex lens is used for correcting long-sightedness.
Due to the negative focal length, it is called negative lenses.Due to the positive focal length, it is called positive lenses.

FAQs on Concave and Convex Mirrors

Frequently asked questions on concave and convex mirrors are given below:

Q. What is the sign of U in the concave mirror?
A.
The distance between the object and pole of a mirror is known as Object Distance. Object Distance is usually represented as “U”.
Q. What is the sign of V in a concave mirror?
A.
The distance between the image and the pole of a mirror is known as the Image distance. Image distance is usually represented as “V”.
Q. What kind of image is created by a concave lens?
A.
Concave lenses create only virtual images.
Q. What is a focal length concave mirror?
A.
The distance between Pole P and Focus F is known as the focal length.
Q. What are the two types of Mirrors?
A.
The 2 types of mirrors are Plane and Spherical mirrors. Spherical Mirrors can be further divided into Concave and Convex mirrors.

Students can also learn more about concave, convex, and plane mirrors from Embibe’s Study page. The mirror concepts are explained in both theory and video format. Going through the study page, you can easily understand the Physics Mirror and Lens concepts easily.

Online Study Material for Class 8-12

Make use of free study materials offered by Embibe, which will definitely help you in your exam preparation:

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Practice Concave & Convex Mirrors Questions with Hints & Solutions