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Real and virtual images

  1. Jan 19, 2010 #1
    Im having such a hard time understanding what these types of images even are
    this is what ive read so far
    real images "rays from a point of the object meet at a point"

    im so confused? what? they meet at the principal focus when reflected??
    can somone please dumb this down for me in the simpliest manner.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2010 #2
    A real image is one like you would see on a screen with a projector. The light rays strike the screen and form an image. This happens with some lenses and some mirrors.
    The other type of image, a virtual image, cannot be projected on a screen. An example would be the image you see of yourself in a plane mirror. The image appears to be behind the mirror, but of course it isn't really there. Your eye is "tricked" into thinking it is by the way the light has reflected off the surface.
    The bit about light rays meeting at a point is how the real image is formed. The mirror or lens causes the light from the object to be focused onto the screen at a particular point. When you look at the screen you can actually see this "real" image.
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