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Grade 8 Science Ray Diagrams for Concave Mirrors

1. The incident ray: this is the incoming ray that will hit the solid surface/barrier (e.g. a mirror)

2. The reflected ray: the ray that bounces off the barrier.

3. The normal: this is the imaginary line that is perpendicular (remember this means at a right
angle to) to the barrier. We use the normal to explain how the waves reflect. This is also called
the principal axis.

4. The angle of incidence: the angle between the incident beam and the normal. We always label
this angle i

5. The angle of reflection: the angle formed between the reflected beam and the normal. We
always label this angle r.

6. Extended ray: an imaginary dotted line that extends from a light ray in a straight line to show
where the eye perceives an image to be located.

Concave mirrors cave in they have a curved shape that curves away from the object in front of the
mirror:

Object (can be
anything) Concave Mirror

When drawing ray diagrams for a concave mirror, there are specific steps to follow depending on how
far away the object is placed from the mirror.
Pb
When the object
jec is between the focal point and the mirror:
1. Draw a rayt parallel to the principal axis, from 3. Draw a ray from the top of the object
the top of the object to the mirror, with the travelling to the vertex and reflecting at the
reflected ray passing through the focal point. same angle.

4. Extend all of the reflected rays behind the


2. Draw a ray from the focal point, to the top of mirror. The point where they cross over is the
the object then all the way to the mirror, with top of your image.
the reflected ray parallel to the principal axis.

We use four terms to describe images in ray diagrams: SPOT

For a concave mirror when the object is between the focal point and the mirror:
1. Size Larger than the object
2. Position Farther than the object is from the mirror
3. Orientation (upright or inverted) Upright
4. Type of Image (Real or virtual?) Virtual the image is formed by extended rays, so
it has to be virtual.
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Now practice it yourself:

2F F V

Principal

axis

F V

F V
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Concave Mirrors

When the object is between the focal point and two times the focal length:

1. Draw a ray parallel to the principal axis, with 3. Draw a ray travelling to the vertex and
the reflected ray passing through the focal reflecting at the same angle.
point.

4. You do not have to extend your rays here


2. Draw a ray through the focal point, with the the reflected rays all intersect, so the top of
reflected ray parallel to the principal axis. your image is the point where the three rays
cross.

We use the same four terms to describe the image that we used above:

For a concave mirror when the object is between the focal point and 2X the focal length:
1. Size Larger than the object
2. Position Farther than the object is from the mirror
3. Orientation (upright or inverted) Inverted
4. Type of Image (Real or virtual?) Real the image is formed by reflected rays, so it
is real.

Now practice it yourself:

Principal

axis
2F Object F V
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Now practice it yourself:

2F F V

Principal

axis

2F F V

2F F V
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Concave Mirrors

When the object is beyond 2X the focal length:

1. Draw a ray parallel to the principal axis, with 3. Draw a ray travelling to the vertex and
the reflected ray passing through the focal reflecting at the same angle.
point.

4. You do not have to extend your rays here


2. Draw a ray through the focal point, with the the reflected rays all intersect, so the top of
reflected ray parallel to the principal axis. your image is the point where the three rays
cross.

We use the same four terms to describe the image that we used above:

For a concave mirror when the object is beyond 2X the focal length:
1. Size Smaller than the object
2. Position Closer than the object is to the mirror
3. Orientation (upright or inverted) Inverted
4. Type of Image (Real or virtual?) Real the image is formed by reflected rays, so it
is real.

Now practice it yourself:

Principal

axis
Object 2F F V
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Now practice it yourself:

F V
2F

Principal

axis

2F F V

2F F V

2F F V