Whether we see ourselves in mirror we see a replica of our self looking back at us. We wink it winks back. The way we look in mirror is always not exactly what we look in real life. We may appear small, tall, fat or even upside down depending on the type of mirror. Images formed can be of two types-real and virtual.
The images that are formed inside the mirror are virtual images. Virtual images are those which you can only see but cannot touch. They are not present in real life. Real images are those formed on the mirror itself and can be seen in front of the mirror without looking into the mirror. Only a few mirrors can produce real images.
Types of Mirror
With the advent of technology mirrors have changed their surfaces from flat to curve. Flat mirror were previously used for decorative purposes and also as a looking glass. With the invention of curved mirrors more uses have come to existence and it is getting used in different fields. There are two types of curved mirrors mostly-
- Convex mirror and
- Concave mirror
Convex mirror- convex mirrors have surfaces curved outwards. They have bulge in the middle. Their main task is to diverge any sort of rays falling on. These mirrors usually form virtual images that cannot be reproduced on a physical plane or screen.
The topic of emphasis of this text, however, is, Concave mirror- concave mirrors have surfaces curved inwards. They have depression in the middle. Their main task is to converge any sort of rays falling on them. Concave Mirrors are converging mirror which have depression in the middle as compared to the periphery.
These mirrors are converging mirror and can convert the entire race coming towards it to a focal point which lies on the focal arc. Any two parallel rays coming towards a concave mirror will convert at the focus on the focal arc. Since concave Mirrors always focus the light rays which intersect at a Focal point, the images formed by these Mirrors are always real in nature.
This means ladies images can be projected on a physical plane. Because of the converging nature of these Mirrors they find variety of applications in everyday uses.
However there is a small problem with these mirrors. These Mirrors for men image that is usually smaller in nature than the actual image that would have been obtained if there was a plane mirror instead of the spherical mirror.
Uses of Concave Mirror
It is used in vehicles as rear view mirrors. These make the vehicles to appear closer than they really are. Thus allowing the driver to know what is behind him and how far it is and allows him to see a detailed and clear picture because of it magnified image.
Large concave Mirrors are used in reflecting telescopes which collect light rays from far away and convert them at another concave mirror which in turn converges them to a lens that magnifies the image forming a clear image of faraway object.
Most professional telescopes used for astronomical purposes are usually reflecting type using a concave mirror because this type of mirror provides cheap and vibrations free alternative to delicate lenses used in a refracting telescopes. Most satellite telescopes and observatories employing reflecting telescopes employing concave lenses
It is used as shaving mirrors or for applying makeup. Concave mirror has an interesting property in which is an object is close enough to the mirror that is if it falls within the focal length of the mirror then it produces an enlarged, upright and virtual image of the object.
This feature is particularly useful as shaving mirror which help in carefully shaving providing added safety. Since it also helps to catch the details of the face it also is used as mirrors in makeup rooms and makeup kits.
in illumination applications, concave mirrors are used to gather light from a small source and direct it outward in a beam as in torches, headlampsand spotlights. Because concave Mirrors can concentrate like they are used in illumination applications where light needs to be directed in to a particular direction.
Usually car headlamps and Search Light use concave mirrors with the light bulb or source in the focus so that it can reduce parallel like trees that can help us with proper powerful and interference-free illumination providing clear visibility.
It is also used in solar power to collect light from a large area and focus it to a single point. Solar heaters are the future of efficient energy utilization and sustainable subsistence.
These haters use large concave Mirrors that can Converse the highly energetic solar radiation to a single point producing enormous amount of heat that can be utilized in generation of huge amounts of power which can not only be used for domestic purposes like hitting water and room heating but also can be used to produce steam to run conventional turbines to produce electricity.
Concave mirrors are used to form optical cavities which are important in laser construction
Dentists make use of concave mirrors to form high quality magnified image of the inner walls of the mouth as well as the teeth for the purpose of effective examination and proper subsequent diagnosis. The mirror landing aid system of modern aircraft carriers also uses a concave mirror.
The primitive microscope used concave mirrors to channel light into the subject to be observed under the lenses which provided better visibility of the specimen in the slide.
Because concave Mirrors have a very good ability to concentrate energy they have been also showed to concentrate certain kinds of high energy radiation that has been used to manufacture new types of invasive machines that employee concentrated laser technology.
These machines usually find application in the formation of new age weapons systems which operate without the use of conventional projectiles and recoil mechanism. This technology is also useful to manufacture surgical instruments for cutting or destroying tumors and stones within the body result in minimum invasion and maximum output.