Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: Mirrors Big and Small and ... Curved

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
How are convex and concave mirrors produced?
- Matt Johnson (age 14)
Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School, Montgomery, Alabama
A:
Mirrors are made by taking a piece of glass or Plexiglass and putting a thin covering of aluminum on the back to reflect the image back. Making mirrors that are bent isn't too difficult. There are 2 choices that manufacturers have when making convex or concave mirrors.

The first choice is to make a regular mirror and then bend it. You might think that the glass would break. But they heat up the glass and it is able to bend without breaking! Don't try that at home though. It is very dangerous if you don't have the right equipment.

The other is to make a bent piece of glass and then put the aluminum on it.

Adam

(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-up on this answer.