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Difference Between Concave and Convex Mirror

Last updated date: 17th Jul 2024
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Concave and Convex Mirror - Definition and Differences

What is a concave mirror?

A concave mirror is a lens that promotes the diversion of a straight light beam coming out of a light source. The tendency of reflection is promoted due to curved reflecting surfaces. A convex mirror is a bent mirror that helps to reflect the image that radiates away from the path of the source of light.

What is a Convex Mirror?

Convex mirrors are different from Concave mirrors in terms of shape and how they work. This type of mirror also uses a curved shape but the curvature lies on the outer side instead of inner like Concave mirrors do. The radius used for these types are positive numbers that show outward curving direction (just like bulge). In addition to this difference, convex mirrors reflect images onto external surfaces such as walls or ceilings while with Concave ones we reflect images onto the surface behind them.

Most of us are so used to seeing these mirrors in our homes, but did you know that a convex mirror is also known as a "Wall Mirror" while a concave mirror is called a "Breakfast Tray". Knowing this might be helpful when looking for new types or styles of specific objects especially if it's needed urgently.

Introduction to the Difference between Concave and Convex Mirrors

Concave mirror and convex mirror differences are so easy to find. Both the mirrors are image-forming systems. You must have encountered these two mirrors in your day to day life.

Let’s get the image of the concave and convex mirror along with their reflection. What do they look like? Both lenses are looking different from each other due to their shape and behaviour with light.  This article will show you the concave and convex mirror difference.

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Distinguish between the Concave and Convex Mirror

From the diagram, you can easily recognize the image formation difference between a convex mirror and a concave mirror.

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Both of these pictures given above can differentiate between the concave mirror and convex mirror easily.

Benefits of Using Convex Mirrors

  1. Many automobile side mirrors are prepared in the shape of convex mirrors. These mirrors help the rider or driver to get a wider view behind them.

  2. Security devices are using convex mirrors. When one security is appointed to a region, he can view wider portions of the store and monitor the status at once.

  3. Convex mirrors are applicable for roads and driveways. Bikers and drivers can gain safety as the mirrors show them the curves over the road where you can’t notice with your bare eyes. 

  4. Convex mirrors are commonly used among different ATMs. They work as the best and handy security feature.

  5. People call these types of mirrors with different names like Bathroom Wall Mirrors, Vanity Mirrors and etc. depending on where they're placed or what purpose they serve in general; some people even categorise them according to their own preferences saying things like: I want one Breakfront Mirrored Console Table. But, there isn't any strict rule about naming convention for convex mirrors, it's just a matter of preference.

Benefits of Using Concave Mirrors

  1. Concave mirrors work as the best reflector. These mirrors are used in torchlights, railway engines - motor vehicles, headlights, and so on.

  2. Concave mirrors are also good for focusing. That is why this type of mirror is fitted at the centre of the mirror, which helps to reflect the light rays and make them travel a huge distance.

  3. It helps the light to travel in a straight path with higher intensity.

  4. Scientists use concave mirrors in the lab.

  5. Mostly, these are placed on the breakfast tray or dressing table with different sizes available to suit all needs and preferences. They can also be used as decoration for living rooms or bedrooms depending on style, size & shape they come in. Concave mirrors are considered more traditional but still there are people who use them in modern designs too, especially when looking for something unique that stands out from the crowd.

Miscellaneous Apparatus that Uses a Concave Mirror

Concave mirrors help to reflect the light inward to the focal light. Also, concave mirrors have many applications such as:

  • Head mirrors

  • Shaving mirrors

  • Astronomical telescopes

  • Headlights

  • Solar furnaces

  • Ophthalmoscope

Write Two Differences Between Concave and Convex Mirror

Concave Mirror

Convex Mirror

1. It reflects the incident rays away from the propagated light source. 

2. The picture size is diminished.

1. It reflects the incident ray towards the source point in many cases.

2. The image's nature is virtual and erect.

How Do You Relate between Concave and Convex?

A table is prepared for you to know better. Using the tabular method, you can learn briefly regarding concave and convex mirrors. They both are useful.

Here is the difference between concave and convex mirror in tabular form:

Sl. No.

Difference Between Convex and Concave

Concave Mirror

Convex Mirror


Different names and their meanings

Rounded or hollowed like the interior is considered as a concave mirror. Some also named it as a converging mirror.

The rounded or curved structure of a mirror is called the convex. 

Many named it a fish-eye or diverging mirror.


Focus Positioning 

In this case, the focal length is positive, and it lies in front of the mirror. 

Here, the focal length is negative, and it lies behind the mirror. 

Concave mirror is a type of mirror  in which the reflective surface is located inside a glass sphere. A concave mirror has two focal points; it takes all incoming light and reflects to one focal point, while diverging other rays of light towards its second focal point.

Here Are Some Great Best Ways To Study Properties of Concave And Convex Mirrors

  1. Experimenting with the images produced

The first way to study Concave and Convex Mirrors is to experiment with the images they produce. Try moving different objects in front of each mirror and see how the image changes. You can also try changing the angle of the mirrors to see how that affects the image.

  1. Using a Mirror as a Lens

Another way to study Concave and Convex Mirrors is by using them as lenses. Place an object in front of one mirror and then move it closer or further away from the mirror until you get a clear image. Then do the same thing with the other mirror type. By doing this, you can learn more about how mirrors work as lenses .

  1. Using a mirror as an eyepiece

You can also study Concave and Convex Mirrors by using them to see objects that are far away. Place the object in front of one type of mirror, then look through it with your eyes until you get a clear image of what is being reflected on the other side. Repeat this process for each mirror type. This will help show how these mirrors work as eyepieces or lenses when they are used together with another lens like those found in binoculars and telescopes.

  1. Studying reflection properties

One way to study Concave and Convex Mirrors is by studying their reflection properties. Experimenting with different angles at which light hits either mirror will help you learn more about how they work. You can also try testing which angles produce sharp images and which do not, as well as the different focal points each mirror produces.

  1. Studying refraction properties

Another way to study Concave or Convex Mirrors is by studying their refraction properties . Place an object in front of one type of mirror then move it closer until a clear image can be seen reflected on its surface. Then place your finger between the object and the surface of the mirror so that light cannot reflect off it anymore. If you are using a convex mirror, make sure to stand at least 25 cm away from its surface because only objects within this range will create clear reflections when placed near them.

  1. Studying how light is reflected off of mirrors

You can also study Concave and Convex Mirrors by studying the way that light reflects off of them . This includes both specular reflection, which occurs when mirrors are polished enough to produce a clear image regardless of their position or angle relative to the source of reflected light, as well as diffuse reflection, where blurry images are produced regardless of the mirror's surface quality because they reflect all incoming lights in random directions instead of focusing it on one point.

  1. Studying how light travels through convex mirrors

The last way you can study Concave and Convex mirrors is by studying how light travels through them . Whenever light enters a convex mirror, it will be bent, or refracted , at an angle greater than its original angle of incidence due to something called spherical aberration because these types of reflective surfaces have been formed using both reflection and refraction processes. In this case, all incoming lights are focused onto one single point that creates a virtual image.


Understand the concept of convex and concave mirrors to determine the difference between them properly. It is then you can realise how these mirrors are used in daily lives. Focus on how these mirrors have been explained to strengthen your concept related to the reflection of light on curved surfaces.

FAQs on Difference Between Concave and Convex Mirror

1. What is the main difference between concave and convex mirrors?

The main difference between concave and convex mirrors is that a concave mirror can take in light while a convex one cannot.

2. Can you use Concave Mirrors for magnification purposes?

No, because Concave Mirrors produce images that are inverted. Convex mirrors, on the other hand, can be used for magnification purposes as they produce upright or erect images.

3. What is the focal length of a Concave Mirror?

The focal length of a concave mirror is the distance from its surface to the point where all incoming light rays converge. This point is also known as the mirror's focal point. Convex mirrors do not have a focal length because their curvature causes all incoming light rays to be reflected parallel to one another.

4. How can you use Concave Mirrors in dark environments?

One way to use Concave Mirrors in dark environments is by reflecting them off of other surfaces so that they will create more illuminated spaces. Another way, which only works with small mirrors, is by using them as part of a periscope like device.

5. What should you do if there is a concave mirror in your car?

If there is a Concave Mirror in your car, you should adjust its position so that it reflects as much light onto the road as possible. You can do this by tilting it up slightly towards the sky. Convex mirrors, on the other hand, should be positioned so that they are perpendicular to the ground (or parallel if mounted horizontally) in order to provide maximum visibility for drivers.