Courses
Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
More
Store

# Plane Mirrors

Reviewed by:
Last updated date: 17th Sep 2024
Total views: 593.1k
Views today: 14.93k

## What are Plane Mirrors?

Plane Mirrors can be found very easily in our daily life. Though an average person is not familiar with this technical term, they can easily relate that to the normal mirrors which are polished on one side with mercury so that they can reflect light falling on them. A Plane Mirror can be easily defined as a mirror that is flat on the surface and is without any inward or outward curve. They can easily reflect light in various directions, undergoing certain phenomena namely reflection, refraction, or absorption. In the Plane Mirrors, we require at least two rays through which the image of the object can be formed by observing the endpoints of the 2 light rays taken. The Plane Mirror can be polished with various materials that can be used for various purposes but all the mirrors function the same way regardless of their constructing material. According to their reflection of light, they can be classified into 3 types: concave, convex, and Plane Mirror. In the case of a Plane Mirror, the angle at which the ray is reflected is equal to the angle at which the ray of light is incident, regardless of whether the image is real or virtual, where the angle of incidence is the angle formed at an imaginary surface which is normal to the mirror (which is perpendicular to the surface) at the point of incidence. While the angle of reflection can be defined as the angle formed at the point of contact of the reflected ray and the surface normal of the Plane Mirror.

### Image Formation on Plane Mirrors

To see any image in the mirror a person should be in the line of sight of the mirror, as when the person is in the line of sight of the mirror then the reflected ray reaches that person’s eye through which anyone can see the image of the object if they are in the line of sight of the mirror, this is because light has the property of moving in a straight line. The important phenomenon of the Plane Mirror is that the reflections of the objects form the virtual image with the same magnification, size, and distance as the object are. The image of the object depends on the geometrical line through which a person sees in the mirror, though all the lines of sight will provide the image of the object, as long as the person‘s eye is in line with the mirror. The image produced is on the opposite side of the mirror with the distance of the image from the surface is equal to the distance of the object from the surface, that is the reason why a person can see what’s exactly behind him.

There can be 2 types of image formed by mirrors, which are:

1. Real Image

2. Virtual Image

The main difference between the real and virtual image is that in a real image the rays of light pass through the mirror while in a virtual image the rays of light strike the surface of the mirror and bounce back to the eye of the user.

Real Image

The real images of the objects are generally formed by the curved mirrors as in the curved mirrors the rays of light get reflected and pass through the mirror to form the real image. The real images formed by the curved mirrors are always inverted. Some examples of a real image are the image formed on the retina of the eye or the image formed on the film of the camera.

Virtual Image

The virtual image of the objects is generally formed by the Plane Mirrors as the Plane Mirrors are polished on one side so the reflection of the object strikes the mirror and gets reflected towards the direction of the observer's eye. So due to this, the observer sees the image at the same distance as the object is from the mirror. The image formed by the Plane Mirror has the same magnification, size, and distance of the object. These virtual images of Plane Mirrors are not formed on the screen like that of a real image. Some examples of Virtual images are the image formed by a magnifying glass when used to look at small objects.

### Laws of Reflection:

There are generally two laws of reflection which can be stated as follows:

1. The angle of incidence (i) is always equal to the angle of reflection (r).

2. The reflected ray, the normal at the point of incidence, and the incident ray lie on the same plane.

### Properties of Reflection in Plane Mirrors:

The magnification of the Plane Mirror is always 1, which is calculated by combining these properties of reflection. 3 things can happen when the light ray falls on the surface of the mirror, which is as follows:

1. A fraction ‘r’ can be reflected.

2. A fraction ‘a’ can be absorbed.

3. A fraction ‘t’ can be transmitted.

For any given surface of a Plane Mirror, these above terms should add up to form 1.

I.e. r + a + t = 1.

### Characteristics of Plane Mirrors:

1. Images formed by the Plane Mirrors are always visual.

2. Images formed by the Plane Mirrors are erect/ upright and are of the same size as the object.

3. The image formed by the Plane Mirror is of the same size as the object.

4. An image formed by the Plane Mirror is of the same magnification as that of the object.

5. One of the main characteristics of the Plane Mirror is that the image formed by the Plane Mirror is inverted, which means if you raise your left hand then the image of the Plane Mirror will show the right hand going upwards.

### Types of Reflection:

There are two types of reflection in Plane Mirrors, which are:

1. Specular/ Regular Reflection

2. Diffused/ Irregular Reflection

Specular / Regular Reflection:

The Specular / Regular reflection, as the name says, provides the perfect image of the object without any distortion. We can simply say when the light strikes the smooth surfaces the ray of light gets reflected in the same direction, as each incident ray is reflected along the reflected ray having the same angle as that of the incident ray. E.g. The mountains are covered with lakes. The image of the mountains shown in the lake is perfect as the lake is a smooth surface.

Diffused / Irregular Reflection:

The Diffused / Irregular reflection is the type of reflection in which the light after striking the rough surface gets reflected in all directions, it includes any light which we can see through our eyes. In this type of reflection, the incident ray reflected along the reflected ray does not have the same angle as that of the incident ray. E.g. When the light hits a bird which is a rough surface, the reflected light scatters in all directions, when it reaches our eye and hits the retina it gets processed in the brain from an electrical signal to form an image of a bird.

### Uses of Plane Mirrors:

1. Seeing around corners

2. Dental mirrors

3. Periscope

4. Flat Telescope

5. Illuminating Egyptian tombs

7. Kaleidoscope

8. Optical lever

## FAQs on Plane Mirrors

1. What are the characteristics of Plane Mirrors?

1. Images formed by the Plane Mirrors are always visual.

2. Images formed by the Plane Mirrors are erect/ upright and are of the same size as the object.

3. The image formed by the Plane Mirror is of the same size as the object.

4. An image formed by the Plane Mirror is of the same magnification as that of the object.

5. One of the main characteristics of the Plane Mirror is that the image formed by the Plane Mirror is inverted, which means if you raise your left hand then the image of the Plane Mirror will show the right hand going upwards.

2. What are the main uses of Plane Mirrors?

A Plane Mirror can be easily defined as mirrors that are flat on a surface and are without any inward or outward curve. They can easily reflect light in various directions, undergoing certain phenomena namely reflection, refraction, or absorption.

Uses of Plane Mirrors:

1. Seeing around corners

2. Dental mirrors

3. Periscope

4. Flat Telescope

5. Illuminating Egyptian tombs

7. Kaleidoscope

8. Optical lever

3. Where can I find notes on Plain mirrors?

Plane Mirrors can be found very easily in our daily life. Though an average person is not familiar with this technical term, they can easily relate that to the normal mirrors which are polished on one side with mercury so that they can reflect light falling on them. At Vedantu, we provide detailed notes as well as various question papers from previous years for students as it is essential for one to have good practice before the main exam. Also, you can get the question papers in PDF format with expert answers at our app or website.

4. Give a brief on the 2 types of reflections.

The Specular / Regular reflection, as the name says, provides the perfect image of the object without any distortion. We can simply say when the light strikes the smooth surfaces the ray of light gets reflected in the same direction, as each incident ray is reflected along the reflected ray having the same angle as that of the incident ray.

The Diffused / Irregular reflection is the type of reflection in which the light after striking the rough surface gets reflected in all directions, it includes any light which we can see through our eyes. In this type of reflection, the incident ray reflected along the reflected ray does not have the same angle as that of the incident ray.

5. How to memorize physics concepts for a long time?

Physics is a natural science that is all about the study of matter around us, its behavior, and its application. It is basic physical science.  Students can make mind maps and write down formulae for better understanding and it also helps in retaining the concepts for a longer period. At Vedantu, we provide revision notes and keywords which would help students in saving time in preparing the notes and assist them in chapter-wise revision.