Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: Concave and Convex Mirrors

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
What are doing "convex mirror" and "concave mirror"?
- Ali Ghodsi (age 10)
Azzahra S., Thehran, Iran
A:
Ali -

Great question! Concave and convex mirrors are basically mirrors that are bent. It's sort of like if you were to take a mirror that's shaped like a ball, and cut off one side of it. With a concave mirror, it's like you're looking at the mirror from what would be the inside of the ball, so it looks like the mirror is curving in towards you. But with a convex mirror, it's like you're looking at the mirror from what would be the outside of the ball, so it curves away from you. Here's some pictures to show you what I mean:

Concave mirror and convex mirror

The basic difference is that concave mirrors reflect light inwards, and convex mirrors reflect light outwards. For more information, check out the . They have really good explanations of how concave mirrors work under "Lesson 3" and of how convex mirrors work under "Lesson 4."

-Tamara

(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-up on this answer.