Virtual images

Virtual images

Virtual images

04/05/17

“What happens when light rays from a reflective or refractive material do not converge?”
When light bounces from some materials, sometimes it does not completely converge. An example can be light incident on planar mirrors or negative lenses. However, an image still forms, contradicting the theory of real images. How can this be? Well, let’s use our scientific mindset to find out. We know when non-parallel light rays do not converge in real space, they are at an angle with each other. However, if we are to think “outside of the box” and move into the virtual world, we can observe that such rays originate from a common point. And since our brains are not advanced enough to distinguish between optical illusions and reality, we will see what scientists call a virtual image at that point. Since virtual images do not exist in reality, they can not be projected onto a screen like real images.

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