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How do mirrors form images?

Mirrors form images through reflection of light rays.

When light rays hit a mirror, they bounce back in a predictable way, following the law of reflection. This law states that the angle of incidence (the angle between the incoming light ray and the normal, or perpendicular, to the mirror's surface) is equal to the angle of reflection (the angle between the reflected light ray and the normal). This means that the reflected image appears to be behind the mirror, at the same distance as the object in front of it.

The image formed by a mirror can be either real or virtual. A real image is formed when the reflected light rays converge at a point, such as in a concave mirror. This type of mirror can be used to focus light and create a sharp image. A virtual image, on the other hand, is formed when the reflected light rays appear to diverge from a point, such as in a flat or convex mirror. This type of mirror creates an image that appears to be behind the mirror, but is not actually there.

The size and orientation of the image formed by a mirror depends on the position of the object relative to the mirror and the type of mirror being used. Convex mirrors, for example, create smaller and upright images, while concave mirrors can create larger and inverted images. Understanding how mirrors form images is crucial in many fields, from optics and astronomy to medicine and engineering.

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