Difference Between Real Image and Virtual Image

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The difference Between Real Image and Virtual Image explains to us Whatever we see might not be real or might not be virtual. Our eye acts as a camera that has its own reflex. There are two styles of image real image and a virtual image. To get a real image, the light rays converge while to get a virtual image, the light rays diverge. Allow us to have a close look.

Difference Between Real Image and Virtual Image

What is an Image?

Basically, an image is a visual representation of an object which is placed somewhere in front of a mirror or lens. The formation of the image is a result of the meeting of light rays after being reflected or refracted according to their respective laws.

It is to be noted here that rays do not always meet, sometimes they just appear to meet. This also produces images. So, on the basis, that either the rays actually meet or just appear to meet, images are classified as real and virtual. As the two types of images are produced in a different manner thus hold various differentiating factors which we will discuss in this content.

What is a Real Image?

Real images are the kind of images that are formed because of the convergence of light rays to some extent after being reflected or refracted from a mirror or lens. we are able to obtain a real image on a screen. Therefore, to get a real image the light source and also the screen must be placed on an identical plane. We are able to obtain the real image by using a converging lens or a concave mirror.

The size of the image depends upon where the object is placed. At a point where light rays undergo interaction with each other at a point real image forms. Real images are inverted in nature and might be seen on the screen.

Difference Between Real Image and Virtual Image

For example, an object is placed ahead of the concave mirror, and light after getting reflected from that object strikes the surface of the concave mirror. When multiple light rays strike the mirror, then by following the laws of the reflection, the different light rays again reflect and meet at a point in front of the mirror.

Light rays actually get focussed at a specific position, and at that specific position, a visual image of that object is made. It’s noteworthy here that after converging at some extent, the rays diverge from that specific point.

What is a Virtual Image?

The images that only appear to be formed at a grip behind a mirror is termed as a virtual image. Actually, the image isn’t present behind the mirror. A virtual image forms when reflected or refracted light rays diverge. The virtual image is an upright image that may be achieved where the rays seem to diverge but don’t converge truly. With the assistance of a diverging lens or a convex mirror, we are able to produce a virtual image.

When light from an object is allowed to strike the mirror then light rays get reflected from the mirror and it looks like that the rays are diverging somewhere behind the mirror. Actually, no light reaches behind the mirror, thus rays appear to meet somewhere, because it is just the perception of the viewer. Virtual images aren’t displayed on the screen.

Difference Between Real Image and Virtual Image

The images produced by the plane mirrors are more of a virtual type. Another important point about virtual images is that they are not imaginary. Therefore, virtual images possess definite shape and size and hence we will see images by the eye or any optical instrument.

The Difference Between Real Image and Virtual Image is listed below……

Difference Between Real Image and Virtual Image

Real Image Virtual Image
The real image is the image, which forms when the light rays meet at a particular point after reflection from the mirror. The image, which is formed when the light rays appear to meet at a definite point, after reflection from the mirror, is termed a virtual image.
Image formed
The image formed is inverted The image formed is upright or erect
Interaction of light rays
Rays actually converge Rays perceived to converge
Lens used
Converging Lens Diverging Lens
Mirror used
Concave Mirror Convex, Concave, and Plane Mirror
Image reception
We can obtain a real image on a screen. We cannot obtain a virtual image on the screen. In fact, the Image appears to be on the mirror or lens itself.


So, from this discussion, we can conclude that real and virtual images are categorized on the basis of their formation, as one is formed on the screen while the other is on the mirror itself.




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