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Q & A: Planar Estimations of Curved Mirrors

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
DO WE TAKE PLANE MIRRORS WHILE DRAWING SCALE DIAGRAMS FOR CURVED MIRRORS?
- DEBLEENA (age 13)
ST. AGNESí CONVENT SCHOOL, KOLKATA,WEST BENGAL,INDIA
A:
Debleena -

Yes, if you are looking at only a single point on a curved mirror, you can think of it as if it were flat. This is how we can estimate the angle that a light ray will bounce off of a curved mirror. Pretend that the mirror is actually flat (and tangent to the point that the light is hitting it at) and then calculate the angle that the light hits it at and bounces off at. To figure out how a whole image will look, do this for a number of different light rays hitting the mirror at different points:

Different light rays hitting the mirror at different points

(from )

-Tamara

(published on 10/22/2007)

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