Understanding Optics: Explaining How It Works

In summary, this toy consists of two mirrors that focus an image of an object onto a surface. The image is real and the object appears to be in the same place as the object in real life.
Science news on Phys.org
  • #2
This is a clever toy consisting of two concave parabolic mirrors, one on top of the other, facing each other. The mirrors are made so that the focal point of one mirror is right at the surface of the other. You place a small object on the surface of the bottom mirror (inside the thing, where you can't see it directly). Since light from the object is at the focal point of the top mirror, the light reflects off the top mirror as parallel light, which then reflects off the bottom mirror to focus at its focal point: which is the the surface of the top mirror. Of course, a hole is cut out of the top mirror so that the real image can be seen. The real image looks like the object is really there.
 
Last edited:
  • #3
First of all, thanks for the help.

I'm still a bit confused though; it might be just some semantic problems. When you say "virtual image" do you really mean virtual image as in the image that's behind the mirror? If that were so, how we see a projection of it? Also, if the image is at the focal point, doesn't that reduce the size of the image?
 
Last edited:
  • #4
the image is real

Oops! I meant to say real image!
 
  • #5
Still, doesn't shouldn't the image be only half the size of the orignial object if the light converges at the focal length?
 
  • #6
What makes you think that the image will be half the size?

Note that light from the object isn't exactly at the focal point, since it's an object not a point source. According to my calculations, if the object is small enough (compared to the focal length) the image will be the same size as the object.
 
  • #7
Never mind, I figured it out. Thanks a lot for your help.
 

Related to Understanding Optics: Explaining How It Works

1. What is optics?

Optics is the branch of physics that deals with the behavior and properties of light. It studies how light is produced, transmitted, and detected, as well as its interactions with matter.

2. How does light travel?

Light travels in a straight line until it interacts with an object or medium. When it enters a new medium, such as air to water, it can change direction due to refraction. It can also be reflected off of surfaces or absorbed by objects.

3. What is the difference between reflection and refraction?

Reflection occurs when light bounces off a surface without changing its direction. Refraction, on the other hand, is the bending of light as it passes through different mediums, such as air to water.

4. How do lenses work?

Lenses work by bending and focusing light to form an image. Convex lenses, also known as converging lenses, bring parallel light rays together to form an image. Concave lenses, or diverging lenses, spread out parallel light rays.

5. Why do objects appear different through different types of lenses?

Objects appear different through different types of lenses because lenses can magnify, reduce, or distort the image of an object. This is due to the way light bends and focuses through the lens, resulting in differences in the size and shape of the image.

Similar threads

Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
3
Views
2K
Replies
22
Views
2K
Replies
17
Views
2K
  • Optics
Replies
1
Views
957
Replies
1
Views
5K
Back
Top