What are Real and Virtual Images?

Physics

definition

Real and virtual image

Real image is formed by the actual intersection of light rays. It can be obtained on a screen. Hence, projectors form real images.
Virtual image is formed when the light rays appear to be originating from a point but does not actually meet. It can be seen by human eyes. Hence, rear-view mirrors form virtual images.

definition

Virtual and Real images

Real ImageVirtual Image
Real image can be seen on the screen.Virtual images cannot be formed on the screen.
It is always invertedIt is always erect.
It is formed when ray of light after reflection.refraction meet at some pointIt is formed when ray of light appear to meet at a point.
It is formed due to actual intersection of light ray.It is formed due to imaginary intersection of light ray.


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Difference between real and virtual images formed by spherical mirrors

  1. A real image is defined as one that is formed when rays of light are directed in a fixed point.  A real image can be projected or seen on a screen. The best example of a real image is the one formed on a cinema screen.
  2. A virtual image is defined as the opposite of a real image, therefore an image that cannot be obtained on a screen is referred to as a virtual image. The explanation for this is the fact that the rays of light that form a virtual image never converge therefore a virtual image can never be projected onto a screen. The best example of a virtual image is your reflection in the mirror.
  3. Real images are produced by intersecting rays while virtual images are produced by diverging rays.
  4. Real images can be projected on a screen while virtual ones cannot.
  5. Real images are formed by two opposite lens, concave and convex.
  6. Virtual images are always upright while real images are always inverted.

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Basic Terms Related to Image Formation by Spherical Mirror

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Image Formation by Spherical Mirror

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Important Questions

Find the size, nature and position of image formed when an object of size is placed at a distance of from a concave mirror of focal length ?

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We wish to obtain an erect image of an object, using a concave mirror of focal length 15 cm. What should be the range of distance of the object from the mirror? What is the nature of the image? Is the image larger or smaller than the object? Draw a ray diagram to show the image formation in this case.

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A student wants to project the image of a candle flame on a screen 80 cm in front of a mirror by keeping the candle flame at a distance of 20 cm from its pole.
i) Which type of mirror should the student use?
ii) Find the magnification of the image produced.
iii) Find the distance between the object and its image.
iv) Draw a ray diagram to show the image formation in this case and mark the distance between the object and its image.

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State two differences between a convex and a concave lens.

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In torches, search lights and headlights of vehicles the bulb is placed:

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(a) Draw ray - diagrams to show the formation of images when the object is placed in front of a concave mirror (converging mirror):
(i) between its pole and focus 
(ii) between its centre of curvature and focus. Describe the nature, size and position of the image formed in each case.
(b) State one use of concave mirror based on the formation of images as in case (z) above. 

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You are provided with a concave mirror, a convex mirror, a Concave lens and a convex lens. To obtain an enlarged image of an object you can use either

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The image formed by a concave mirror is observed to be virtual, erect and larger than the object. Where should be the position of the object?

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An object is placed at (i) , (ii) in front of a concave mirror of radius of curvature . Find the position, nature and magnification of the image in each case.

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Which of the following can make a parallel beam of light when light from a point source is incident on it?

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