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Working of the Eye

  1. Nov 23, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Q: How does our eye see virtual images, considering that no light is emmited by a virtual image and our eye can see anything only when light from it reaches the eye?

    Examples: Image by a plane mirror, concave lens, convex mirror and by convex lens and concave mirror in certain cases, etc.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2007 #2


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    Although the virtual image do not emit light per se light rays are still involved the process. That is the light rays that are associated with the "formation" of the virtual image comes from a real object and still enters the eye, it is just that they get refracted by the optical system in such a way as to lead us to interpret it that the rays came from a virtual object located at the point of the virtual image. The concept of a virtual image can best be explained if the optics leading to the "formation" of the virtual image and the real object is removed completely and the virtual image is replaced by a real object of the same size as the virtual image and located at the point where the virtual image "formed". This new real object will then have exactly the same effect as the "old" real object plus the optics.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2007
  4. Nov 23, 2007 #3
    Thank you sir for your explanation. I was in fact, confused by the following answer to the above problem, which I found in a book :-
    " The eye lens is a convex lens, which converts any light coming from a virtual object into a real object by focusing the light rays to form a real image, which is then seen by the eye."

    However now, I do not feel any problem. Thanks again.
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