Fri November 11, 2011 By:

please derive the mirror formula for concave and convex mirrors. explain it broadly pleas.

Expert Reply
Sat November 12, 2011
The object distance (u), image distance (v) and focal length (f).


The following sign convention is used for measuring various distances in the ray diagrams of spherical mirrors:

  • All distances are measured from the pole of the mirror.
  • Distances measured in the direction of the incident ray are positive and the distances measured in the direction opposite to that of the incident rays are negative.
  • Distances measured above the principal axis are positive and that measured below the principal axis are negative.
  • ?
The figure shows an object AB at a distance u from the pole of a concave mirror. The image A1B1 is formed at a distance v from the mirror. The position of the image is obtained by drawing a ray diagram.

Consider the D A1CB1 and D ACB

[when two angles of D A1CB1 and D ACB are equal then the third angle

But ED = AB

From equations (1) and (2)

If D is very close to P then EF = PF

But PC = R, PB = u, PB1 = v, PF = f

By sign convention

PC = -R, PB = -u, PF = -f and PB1 = -v

Equation (3) can be written as

Dividing equation (4) throughout by uvf we get

Equation (5) gives the mirror formula
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