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Homework Help: Concave Mirror Experiment Question

  1. Sep 26, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    We did an experiment with a concave mirror.
    Concave mirror was placed on optics bench and a candle was placed at designated spots. A screen was used to see where the image was projected. When the object was placed between the focal point, image was not produced on the screen. So the image that was produced inside the mirror was virtual.
    Can anyone explain why this happened????
    Main question: How do you explain the virtual image that was created when the object was placed between the focal length and the mirror?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm guessing that the light rays from the object never intersect at a point, but converge behind the mirror therefore creating an image that cannot be seen on the screen but instead in the mirror.
    This photo explains a bit to me, but i'm still confused.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2009 #2


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    Correct - what's the problem?
  4. Sep 26, 2009 #3
    Good to know i'm on the right path, but i'd like a more completed answer of what's happening.
  5. Nov 11, 2009 #4
    I have a question regarding this topic: How do you explain the image formed on the spherical mirror on the left of the following image?

    http://www.uwsp.edu/physastr/kmenning/images/spherical.mirrors.jpg [Broken]

    Obviously, that mirror is a concave mirror and the candle has been placed at a point farther than the focal length of the mirror. The image then is real and inverted, and can be projected on a screen.

    My question is regarding the image that appears on the mirror itself. The image of the candle seems to be located on the back of the mirror, as if it were a virtual image.

    In other words: if real images formed by concave mirrors are located on front of the mirror, why do we see the image on the mirror itself, as if it were located behind the mirror?

    Could you please give an explanation for that?

    The attempt at a solution
    I guess concave mirrors act like flat mirrors for the real images they form.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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