Convex Mirror

Convex Mirror - Application and Working of Convex Mirror

Convex mirrors are also popularly called as the fish eye mirror or diverging mirror. Its reflective surface bulges in the direction of the light source. A convex mirror has an ability to reflect all the light that falls on them in the outward direction. So, the type of image formed by these mirrors is always imaginary/virtual. 

Also, due to the above property the size of the object’s image is smaller as compared to the actual object’s size. Therefore, a convex mirror is the most appropriate in those areas where large size objects have to be viewed in a tiny size. This makes it easy for a person to view the image. 

How does a convex mirror differ from a concave mirror?

A convex mirror is also commonly called as a curved mirror. Where the reflective surface of a concave mirror bulge towards the inward direction, in case of a convex mirror it bulges in the direction where the light source is located. 

The image of the object formed by a concave mirror is bigger than the actual size of the object. In case of a convex mirror, it makes the object appear smaller in the size. A concave mirror is used for the purpose of magnifying the image of the object but a convex mirror reduces the image size so that it gets accommodated easily in the mirror. 

What are the ways to recognize a convex mirror?

If you have to find which one is a convex mirror out of the different types of mirrors like a plane mirror, concave mirror, and convex mirror, then it can be done just by looking at the size of the image. 

When you use a plane mirror, you will find that the size of the image generated by it will be the same as the actual size of the image. In case of a concave lens, you will find that when the object is placed near to the mirror, its image gets enlarged.
You will see an inverted form of the image when the object is kept at a far distance from the mirror. It is only a concave mirror that has the ability to generate an actual inverted image. The size of the image produced by a concave mirror is based on the screen placement. In case of a convex mirror, it always generates a small-sized straight image.

Why is a convex mirror called as a diverging mirror?

A convex mirror is given the name of a "diverging mirror". It is because of the behavior of the mirror that makes light rays to diverge upon reflection. By this, it means that when a light ray is directed on this mirror, it enables the originally parallel light rays that form the beam to deviate/diverge after hitting the reflective surface of the convex mirror.

Understanding the working of a convex mirror

In a convex mirror, there is a point where light rays received from all the different directions meet. This helps in creating a focused beam. This point is referred to as the “focal point” or the focus. There is another term called “focal length” that determines the distance between the front of the convex mirror and the focal point. 
Now let us understand the type of image formed by a convex mirror. A curved or a convex mirror bends outward in the shape of a dome. It always forms an imaginary image. The reason behind it is that the “center of curvature” and the point of focus are both imaginary points in the mirror. Both of these points are unable to be reached. 

It implies, that the type of image made by this type of mirror can’t be projected on the screen. The image generated by the convex mirror is an upright virtual image that is relatively smaller in size than the size of the projected object.
Below are the major possibilities of a convex mirror with respect to the object positioning in a convex mirror.

  • • When an object is located at infinity

  • When the object lies at the infinity, then a tiny image is produced at a principal focus point. This point is located behind the mirror. You will see that the image produced is virtual, highly diminished and erect.

  • • When an object lies between the pole and infinity of the mirror

  • When an object lies between the pole and infinity of this mirror, then you will see a diminished form of an erect and virtualimage. This image is created between focus and pole behind the convex mirror.

    What are the areas of application of a convex mirror?

    There are different functions performed by a convex mirror that makes it useful in a variety of applications. Let us see some of the important uses of convex mirrors. 

    Safety and efficiency are the two most essential requirements when you drive on the road. By providing a good overview to drivers about the rear and side view of the roads, and surroundings, help drivers to foresee risky situations and avoid accidents. Convex mirror is one of the important things that offer a clearer rear view of the road to ensure maximum safety at all the time. 

    A convex mirror has broader fields of view as compared to reflective surfaces of concave and plane mirrors. Due to which, convex mirrors are used in forming side mirrors of an automobile. These mirrors provide a fish eye view to the person who drives the automobile. This feature helps them to get a clear view of the rear area of the road easily.

    The virtual image created of the object has a smaller size than its actual size. It provides a wide field view. Convex mirrors provide heightened safety for motor drivers on roads, alleys, and driveways where very little visibility is there.

    Automated teller machines

    Convex mirrors are kept close to the ATM or automated teller machine to permit the customers to figure out whether someone is standing behind him. This is used to ensure the security of the customers while they use an ATM. It ensures safety from the theft of withdrawals of cash or any other precious item. Also, it keeps the identity of the machine user safe and secure.

    In camera

    Some mobile phones come with a selfie camera built into them that aids users to capture a self-portrait shot.

    Inside buildings:

    Large hospitals, hotel, schools, offices, apartment buildings or stores use convex mirrors to allow people to view what goes around a corner. This helps in avoiding minor or major collisions.

    In sunglasses:

    Convex mirrors are used in developing a sunglass lens. The overall purpose is to reflect the sunlight away from the person who wears these glasses.

    In the magnifying glass:

    Two convex mirrors when placed next to each other can form a magnifying glass.

    In street light

    Convex mirror is used as a street light reflector due to its ability to spread light rays over a larger region.

    In telescope

    Convex mirrors are used in telescopes to see far off objects clearly in the form of point-sized images. 
    Production process

    Another important use of a convex mirror is in the work environment at the time of the production process. A convex mirror placed on conveyor belt assist in viewing a product from varying angles. 

    This enhances the quality of the product by getting aware of any kind of production-based faults and improves the efficacy of production processes. This happens by eliminating the requirement to assess the quality of products on the conveyor belt.