A mirror is an object with a surface that has good specular reflection; that is, it is smooth enough to form an image. The
most familiar type of mirror is the plane mirror, which has a flat surface. Curved mirrors are also used, to produce
magnified or diminished images or focus light or simply distort the reflected image.
Mirrors are commonly used for personal grooming (in which case the old-fashioned term "looking-glass" can be used),
decoration, and architecture. Mirrors are also used in scientific apparatus such as telescopes and lasers, cameras, and
industrial machinery. Most mirrors are designed for visible light; however, mirrors designed for other types of waves or other
wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation are also used, especially in optical instruments.
A curved mirror is a mirror with a curved reflective surface, which may be either convex (bulging outward) or concave
(bulging inward). Most curved mirrors have surfaces that are shaped like part of a sphere, but other shapes
are sometimes used in optical devices. The most common non-spherical type are parabolic reflectors, found in optical
devices such as reflecting telescopes that need to image distant objects, since spherical mirror systems suffer from
A convex mirror, fish eye mirror or diverging mirror, is a curved mirror in which the reflective surface bulges toward the light
source. Convex mirrors reflect light outwards, therefore they are not used to focus light. Such mirrors always form a virtual
image, since the focus F and the centre of curvature 2F are both imaginary points "inside" the mirror, which cannot be
reached. Therefore images formed by these mirror cannot be taken on screen. (As they are inside the mirror)
A collimated (parallel) beam of light diverges (spreads out) after reflection from a convex mirror, since the normal to the
surface differs with each spot on the mirror.
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