What is a Mirror in Science?

Mirrors are surfaces that can reflect the light. One face of it polished .they are broadly classified as plane and spherical mirrors

This topic is an important part of the IAS exam and comes under the General Science category.

What are the two types of mirror?

The two types of mirrors are:

  1. Plane mirrors
  2. Spherical mirrors

They can be explained as the following:

Plane mirrors – They are cut part of plane mirrors, these are highly polished at the one end. These mirrors produce virtual and erect images. Image size will be the same size. Image is laterally inverted.


Spherical mirrors – It is a cut part of a hollow glass sphere and another end is highly polished. They are classified as concave mirrors and convex mirrors. If the outer surface is polished and inner surface reflects the light are termed as concave mirrors.

How is a mirror formed?

The modern mirror is formed by the application of a thin layer of silver or aluminum onto the rear portion of a glass sheet.

What are the applications of spherical mirrors?

Convex mirrors are used as:

  • Rearview mirror: The side view mirror of the car forms a small and erect image with the help of convex mirrors which helps to see the way behind the car.
  • Security mirrors in ATM: To keep a check on the person standing behind the customer while making a transaction.

Concave mirrors are used as satellite dishes, headlights in cars, shaving mirrors, torches, etc.

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