Shannon, Robert R. Optical Sciences Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
Last reviewed:June 2020
- Plane mirrors
- Spherical mirrors
- Conic mirrors
- Mirror coatings
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The use of plane or curved reflecting surfaces for the purpose of reverting, directing, or forming images. The most familiar use of reflecting optical surfaces is for the examination of one's own reflected image in a flat or plane mirror. A single reflection in a flat mirror produces a virtual image which is reverted or reversed in appearance. The use of one or more reflecting surfaces permits light or images to be directed around obstacles, with each successive reflection producing a reversal of the image. A curved mirror, either spherical or conic in form, will produce a real or virtual image in much the same manner as a lens, but generally with reduced aberrations. There will be no chromatic aberrations since the law of reflection is independent of the color or wavelength of the incident light. See also: Aberration (optics); Optical image
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