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Plane mirrors

# Plane mirrors - Consider an object placed a certain...

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Plane mirrors A plane mirror is simply a mirror with a flat surface; all of us use plane mirrors every day, so we've got plenty of experience with them. Images produced by plane mirrors have a number of properties, including: 1. the image produced is upright 2. the image is the same size as the object (i.e., the magnification is m = 1) 3. the image is the same distance from the mirror as the object appears to be (i.e., the image distance = the object distance) 4. the image is a virtual image, as opposed to a real image, because the light rays do not actually pass through the image. This also implies that an image could not be focused on a screen placed at the location where the image is. A little geometry Dealing with light in terms of rays is known as geometrical optics, for good reason: there is a lot of geometry involved. It's relatively straight-forward geometry, all based on similar triangles, but we should review that for a plane mirror.
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Unformatted text preview: Consider an object placed a certain distance in front of a mirror, as shown in the diagram. To figure out where the image of this object is located, a ray diagram can be used. In a ray diagram, rays of light are drawn from the object to the mirror, along with the rays that reflect off the mirror. The image will be found where the reflected rays intersect. Note that the reflected rays obey the law of reflection. What you notice is that the reflected rays diverge from the mirror; they must be extended back to find the place where they intersect, and that's where the image is. Analyzing this a little further, it's easy to see that the height of the image is the same as the height of the object. Using the similar triangles ABC and EDC, it can also be seen that the distance from the object to the mirror is the same as the distance from the image to the mirror....
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