1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Image formation in magnifiers

  1. Jan 27, 2016 #1
    I was reading my physics book and I didnt understand how can a image formed at infinity does not appear to us as infinitely large. The book says that lateral magnification is not valid in this case. So what really defines how large a image is?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2016 #2

    Suraj M

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    First when we say infinity, it's not exactly "infinity"
    It's a large distance from the pole, your object won't be exactly at the focus (practically)
    so you won't have " infinitely large".
    Infinitely large"- what does that actually mean?
    What defines? It's the position and focal length of the mirror.
  4. Jan 27, 2016 #3
    Yes, but I'm still trying to understand what in our eye determines how large an image will be. I'm showing you a image of the situation that caused my doubt. (sorry my bad english)
  5. Jan 27, 2016 #4

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    In this case (distant objects and/or distant images), it's conceptually easier to use angular magnification rather than linear magnification to characterize the system:

    http://physics.ucsd.edu/students/courses/winter2008/physics1c/documents/5.2OpticalInstruments.notes.pdf [Broken].

    Does this help?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  6. Jan 27, 2016 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Look at the picture on the right. The rays from the top of the inchworm enter the eye at angle θ. The eye then focuses the rays down onto the retina. The size of the image of the inchworm on the retina is determined by the angle at which the rays enter your eye and the focal length of your eye.
  7. Jan 29, 2016 #6
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook