Written by: Ronald E. Putnam Jr. & Clinton E. Roberts III, BioMed/BioTech students, KU Jacksonville

In a recent lab about optics, physics students used concave and convex mirrors to create real and virtual images with Vernier hardware. Real images are projected on a screen while virtual images seem to be behind the mirror.  Concave mirrors are types of mirrors you’d see in a reflected telescope or a make-up mirror in a restroom. These mirrors makes things seem larger when you are closer than the focal point; that is, you see a virtual image larger than real life. Convex mirrors are like the rearview mirror on your car. They make things seem smaller than they actually are, allowing you to see more in the mirror, again creating a virtual image. These photos show the students using a light source beyond the focal point of a concave mirror to make a real image on the screen.  Curved mirrors can be used like lenses in optical equipment.




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