6 Difference between Real Image and Virtual Image with Table

What is the difference between a real image and a virtual image?

These terms are commonly used during refraction and reflection of objects through different types of lenses such as concave and convex lenses.

The lesson presents a detailed insight into the difference between the real image and virtual image with examples. Let’s find out more here:

What Is a Real Image?

The real image occurs when the light rays arising from a single source converge to a particular point. The image can be obtained when the mirror is set in the plane of the object.

Converging lenses are commonly used to produce a real inverted image when the object is placed in front of the mirror. The size of the image varies depending on their location.

What Is a Virtual Image?

The virtual image occurs when the apparent divergence of light from a definite point is produced. The image formed tends to be upright.

Divergence lenses are commonly used mirrors to produce virtual images when an object is placed in front of it. A convergence lens can also result in a virtual image when the object is placed between the focal point and pole.

Comparison Chart: Real Image Vs Virtual Image

 Basic Terms Real Image Virtual Image Meaning Occurs when the light rays meet at a specific point after reflection through the mirror Occurs when the light rays appear to meet at a definite point after reflection through the mirror Rays Converge Perceived to converge Image Formed Inverted Upright Lens used Converging lens Diverging lens Mirror Concave Concave, convex, and plane Capture On the screen Cannot be captured on the screen

Core Differences between Real Image and Virtual Image

1. A converging lens is used to produce a real image while a diverging lens to produce a virtual image
2. A concave mirror is used to produce a real image while the convex mirror is used to produce a virtual image
3. Real images can be captured on the screen whereas virtual image cannot be captured on the screen
4. Real images tend to be inverted while virtual image tend to be upright
5. The real image occurs when rays meet at a particular point after reflection from the mirror whereas a virtual image occurs when rays appear to meet at a definite point after reflection from the mirror.

Summary

The core difference between a real image and a virtual image is that a real image tends to be inverted whereas a virtual image tends to be upright after reflection from the mirror.