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Uses of Convex Mirror

Uses of convex mirror, Characteristics of Convex mirror, Practice problems, FAQs

Do you travel in metros? When you reach the station you will see large spherical mirrors installed on the corners of the station. Do you know what type of mirror it is and why it is installed? It is a convex mirror. Convex mirror is a spherical mirror that is polished from the inside and outer surface is used for reflection. It gives a wide view to the observer. It is installed on the metro station so that when a train is stopped on the station the driver can view the whole train from inside the cabin. The convex mirror has such different uses. In this concept we will learn the various uses of convex mirrors.

Table of content

  • Convex mirror
  • Characteristics of Convex mirror
  • Uses of convex mirror
  • Practice problems
  • FAQs

Convex mirror

Convex mirrors are spherical mirrors having a painted inner surface and a reflecting outer surface. Convex mirror is also known as a diverging mirror. Because all rays striking on its surface appear to diverge from a single point. An image produced by a convex mirror is virtual because the center and focus of curvature are fictitious points inside the mirror and cannot be reached.

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Characteristics of Convex mirror

The convex mirror has following characteristics

  1. Regardless of how far away an object is from a convex mirror, it always creates a virtual, erect, and diminished image.
  2. The light rays diverge as they strike a convex mirror reflecting surface.
  3. Since the light rays always diverge after colliding, convex mirrors cannot focus the light ray toward a specific point.

Uses of convex mirrors

Convex mirrors have a reflecting surface that extends outward in the direction of the light source. The extended surface reflects light in all directions and the image is created in the mirror. Consequently, it is impossible to project the image onto a screen. Convex mirrors are still useful in many aspects of daily life. Some of them are discuss below,

  1. Rear-view mirrors in vehicles - Rear-view mirrors on vehicles like cars, buses, motorbikes, etc., employ convex mirrors. The diver can inspect the vehicles and oncoming traffic in their rearview mirrors. Additionally, it allows the driver to see big things, like trucks and buses, up close.

  1. Road safety - Convex mirrors are put as part of traffic safety infrastructure at intersections and at corners where roads bend sharply. People and drivers can carefully check for any obstacles and prevent accidents by using such mirrors.

  1. ATMs - The tops of the ATMs are often covered with convex mirrors. This arrangement of the mirror enables the withdrawer to see if the user behind them is looking at their ATM Pin or other crucial information. Additionally, the withdrawer can use a convex mirror to see who is standing behind them.
  1. Parking Lots - The parking lots also make use of convex mirrors. By monitoring the automobiles behind them, the concave mirrors in the parking lot assist drivers in parking their cars correctly.

  1. At intersections and corners - Large warehouses, offices, and hospitals mostly have numerous corners and crossroads where individuals frequently collide with one another. Convex mirrors may be placed at these junctions and corners. People can see well around curves due to these mirrors, which helps to avoid collisions and bumping into one another.
  1. Security - Supermarkets, big stores, and expansive warehouses typically use convex mirrors. They exist solely to stop theft and other crimes in these places. The mirrors are either mounted on walls or put on shelves to provide a clear view of the products from all directions.

  1. Street light - A convex mirror can disperse light over a large surface area. Due to this the Convex mirrors are used as street light reflectors. Light source such as a bulb is placed in front of the mirror. When light rays fall on the mirror, After the reflection from the mirror it spreads over the area.

Practice problems

Q. What are the common uses of convex mirrors?
To provide a greater view of the entire area, convex mirrors are typically mounted in the halls of schools, apartments, hotels, and hospitals. Additionally, these spherical mirrors are utilized in driveways, alleyways, and roadways to give vehicles a wider perspective at intersections, curves, and other points where sight is poor.

Q. Explain the image formation by the convex mirror.
For forming an image of an object, draw a ray that is parallel to the principal axis. It will diverge in a direction as per the law of reflection. The ray pointed in the direction of the curvature's center will return in that same direction. Both the divergent rays will not meet after the reflection.If we extend these rays behind the mirror, A virtual and decreased image will form between the pole and the mirror's focus as shown in the figure.

Q. What are the general uses of concave mirrors?
Light reflected by concave mirrors focused inward to a point. As a result, they primarily serve to focus light. Depending on how close an object is to the concave mirror, multiple kinds of images appear. The concave mirror can be used in following purposes such as Shaving mirrors, Ophthalmoscope, Astronomical telescopes, Headlights, Solar furnaces.

Q. What are the laws of reflection? Is it applicable to convex mirrors?
Laws of reflection are applied for all mirrors including convex mirrors. According to the law of reflection the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection and the incident ray, reflected ray and the normal to the surface are in the same plane.


Q. What kind of visual field does a convex mirror have?
This concave mirror has a wider range of view than a regular plane mirror because everything seems smaller in it.

Q. Why are convex mirrors used in cars?
Car rear-view mirrors are made of convex glass because of the larger field of view provided by these rearview mirrors which enables the drivers to see the traffic in their rearview mirror.

Q. Convex mirror forms real images true or false?
False. Convex mirror never forms real images; it always forms virtual, diminished and erect images.

Q. Why do blind turns employ convex mirrors?
Convex mirrors are used to protect drivers on highways and in streets where there is a blind spot or when there is little view for the driver.

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