What will the image formed by a convex spherical mirror always be?


Quick Answer

Convex spherical mirrors always produce images that are upright, virtual, located behind the mirror and reduced in size. The location of the object relative to the mirror does not change these image qualities.

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Full Answer

Convex mirrors are called diverging mirrors because they cause incident light originating from the same point to divergently reflect off the mirror surface. Light rays that diverge off a convex mirror never intersect on the object side of the mirror. These properties mean that convex mirrors cannot be used to focus light or project an image on a screen.

The virtual images that convex mirrors form widen the field of view, enabling their usage as passenger-side vehicular mirrors. Objects in such mirrors appearing further away than they truly are can be attributed to the distorting effect that convex mirrors have on the image and consequently on the driver’s distance perception. Convex mirrors are often found in the hallways of hotels, hospitals, schools and apartment buildings, where they are mounted at blind corners, sharp turns and orthogonal intersections. People making these turns can look at the mirror to see around the bend of the hallway and avoid collisions. Such mounted safety mirrors are also used on roads and in alleys to facilitate pedestrian and motorist safety.

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