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|
|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
- A converging lens is used to produce a real image while a diverging lens to produce a virtual image
- A concave mirror is used to produce a real image while the convex mirror is used to produce a virtual image
- Real images can be captured on the screen whereas virtual image cannot be captured on the screen
- Real images tend to be inverted while virtual image tend to be upright
- 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.
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.