What are the characteristics of concave and convex mirrors and screens?

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Concave and convex lenses, mirrors, and screens all affect light differently. The characteristics of each surface are briefly described below. The effect of each surface on light rays is also briefly explained.

Lenses

Concave and convex lenses are transparent. Thus, light can pass through them. A concave lens bends inwards...

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Concave and convex lenses, mirrors, and screens all affect light differently. The characteristics of each surface are briefly described below. The effect of each surface on light rays is also briefly explained.

Lenses

Concave and convex lenses are transparent. Thus, light can pass through them. A concave lens bends inwards and is thinner in the middle. A convex lens bends outwards and is thicker in the middle.  

Because of their different shapes, concave and convex lenses cause light to bend (refract) differently.

  • Rays of light that pass through a convex lens converge. This means that the rays of light are brought closer together. The rays of light that pass through a convex lens all converge and come together at one location. This location is called the principal focus. Images produced by convex lenses magnified.
  • Rays of light that pass through a concave lens diverge This means that the rays of light spread outwards and apart from one another. As a result, images produced by concave lenses are diminished. This means that the images produced by concave lenses appear smaller than they really are.                                                                                                                                                                     

Mirrors

Unlike lenses, mirrors are not transparent. Mirrors are hard and shiny This causes light to reflect, or bounce off of the mirror’s surface. Plane mirrors are flat and not curved or bended. Images that are produced by plane mirrors are the same size, shape and orientation of the original image.

Screens

Screens can be used to project light, such as from a movie, back to the light source.  These screens are called front projection screens and are highly reflective.

There are also rear projection screens. An example of such a screen would be the covering of a television through which the image is projected. Such screens need to be transparent.

Here is an excellent resource identifying types and properties of different screens.  

 

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