GeneralScience

Mirror and Lens : Definition, Types, and Differences (With Table)

Mirrors and lenses are two essential components used in optics, which play a significant role in our daily lives. They are used in various applications such as photography, telescopes, microscopes, eyeglasses, and many more. Both mirror and lens have the ability to reflect, refract, and focus light, but they differ in their working principles, shapes, and uses. In this article, we will discuss the difference between mirrors and lenses in detail.

Mirror Vs Lens

MirrorLens
Mirror refers to the reflective surface that is made up of a thin layer of glass, silver, or plastic and reflects light rays in a specific direction.A lens refers to a transparent object made of a curved surface that refracts light rays.
A mirror can be planned or curved.It is curved at one or both surfaces.
Mirrors follow the laws of reflection.The lens follows the laws of refraction.
They reflect light to form an imageA lens bends light to form an image
The three types of mirrors are plane mirrors, concave, and convex mirrors.Lens has two types i.e convex lens and concave lens
Plane mirrors have no focal point but spherical mirrors have one focal point.The lens has 2 focal points.
The mirrors are used in cameras, solar cookers, and cars for side looking, periscope, etc. Lenses are used in eyeglasses, projectors, telescopes, flashlights, etc.
The equation for the mirror is:
1/v + 1/u = f
Where v = the distance of the image from the pole.
u = Distance of the object from the pole
And f = focal length 
The equation for the lens is : 
1/v + 1/u = f
where v = the distance of the image from the pole. u = Distance of the object from the pole, And f = focal length 

What is Mirror?

A mirror is a smooth, shiny surface that reflects light back and produces an image. It is made up of a thin layer of metal, glass, silver, or plastic, and can be flat or curved. Mirrors are used in various applications, including makeup mirrors, bathroom mirrors, car mirrors, and telescopes.

Types of Mirror

There are two main types of mirrors: plane mirrors and spherical mirrors

  • A Plane Mirror: A flat or plane mirror is a plain mirror with a flat surface that reflects light. The image produced by a flat mirror is virtual, which means that the light appears to be coming from behind the mirror. Flat mirrors are commonly used in everyday applications, such as mirrors in bathrooms and bedrooms.
  • Spherical Mirror: Spherical mirrors, on the other hand, have a curved surface and are used to magnify or reduce images. They are further divided into two types: concave and convex mirrors
  1. A Convex mirror is a type of curved mirror that has a reflective surface that curves outward. This means that the mirror’s reflective surface is shaped like a part of the outside of a sphere. When light rays hit a convex mirror, they are reflected and diverge away from a single point. This means that convex mirrors are used to create a wider field of view than a flat mirror. Convex mirrors are commonly used in rear-view mirrors for cars and in security mirrors.
  1. A Concave mirror, on the other hand, is a type of curved mirror that has a reflective surface that curves inward. This means that the mirror’s reflective surface is shaped like a part of the inside of a sphere. When light rays hit a concave mirror, they are reflected and converge at a single point called the focal point. The distance between the center of the mirror and the focal point is known as the focal length. Concave mirrors are commonly used in telescopes, headlights, and shaving mirrors.

What is Lens?

A lens is a transparent material with at least one curved surface that refracts or bends light and is used to focus or diverge light. Lenses are typically made of glass or plastic and can be found in many everyday applications such as eyeglasses, cameras, and telescopes.

Types of Lens

There are two main types of lenses: converging lenses and diverging lenses.

  • A Convex lens is a lens that is thicker in the middle than at the edges. It is also known as a converging lens because it causes parallel light rays to converge toward a focal point after passing through it. Convex lenses are commonly used in optical instruments like magnifying glasses, cameras, and telescopes.
  • A Concave lens, on the other hand, is a lens that is thinner in the middle than at the edges. It is also known as a diverging lens because it causes parallel light rays to diverge after passing through it. The focal point of a concave lens is where the rays appear to diverge from. Concave lenses are used in corrective lenses to correct nearsightedness or myopia.

Key Differences between Mirror and Lens

While comparing both mirror vs lens, here we have included some of the key differences between them.

  • Shape: The primary difference between mirrors and lenses is their shape. Mirrors have a flat or curved surface, while lenses have at least one curved surface.
  • Reflection vs. Refraction: Mirrors reflect light, while lenses refract or bend light.
  • Types: Mirrors are divided into plan mirrors, and spherical mirror which is further divided into concave mirrors, and convex mirrors. Lenses are divided into converging lenses and diverging lenses.
  • Images: The images formed by mirrors are virtual, while the images formed by lenses can be real or virtual, depending on the position of the object relative to the lens.
  • Focal length: Mirrors have a focal length equal to half their radius of curvature, while lenses have a focal length that depends on their shape and refractive index.
  • Uses: Mirrors are used to reflect light, create virtual images, and focus light in telescopes. Lenses are used to refract light, create real or virtual images, and focus light in cameras, eyeglasses, and microscopes.

The following table briefly describes the difference between mirror and lens.

comparison table for difference between mirror and lens

Conclusion

In conclusion, both mirrors and lenses play a significant role in our daily lives, and they have many practical applications. Mirrors are used to reflect light and create virtual images, while lenses are used to refract light and create real or virtual images. The key differences between mirrors and lenses include their shape, types, images produced, focal length, and uses.

Basir Saboor

Basir Saboor is a passionate writer with a keen interest in technology, business, and politics. He enjoys researching and writing about the latest trends and developments in technology, the ever-evolving business landscape, and the ever-changing political climate. As a writer, Basir believes in the power of words to inspire, inform, and influence.

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