A real image and a virtual image are different forms of image. The main difference between real and virtual images lies in the way in which they are produced. A real image is formed when rays converge, whereas a virtual image occurs when rays only appear to diverge. Let us look at more differences between real images and virtual images in this article.
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Difference Between Real Image and Virtual Image
To obtain a real image the light source and the screen must be placed on the same plane. Real images are obtained using a converging lens or a concave mirror. The size of the real image depends upon the placement of the object.
A virtual image is an upright image that is achieved where the rays seem to diverge. A virtual image is produced with the help of a diverging lens or a convex mirror. A virtual image is found by tracing real rays that emerge from an optical device backwards to perceived or apparent origins of ray divergences. Because the rays never really converge, a virtual image cannot be projected onto a screen.
|Difference Between Real Image and Virtual Image|
|Real Image||Virtual Image|
|Real images are inverted||Virtual images are erect|
|A real image is always formed by a convex lens.||Virtual images can be formed by concave, convex or plane mirrors.|
|Real images are formed on the screen||Virtual images appear to be on the lens or the mirror itself|
|Real images are always formed by a concave mirror||Convex mirror forms a virtual image|
|Real images are formed due to the actual intersection of light rays||Virtual images are formed due to the imaginary intersection of light rays|
Therefore, we can say that the difference between real and virtual images is that the real image can be obtained on the screen whereas the virtual image cannot be obtained on the screen.
Ray Diagram of a Real Image
Following is the ray diagram of the real image:
Ray Diagram of a Virtual Image
Following is the ray diagram of the virtual image:
These were some differences between the real image and the virtual image. If you wish to find out more, download BYJU’S The Learning App.
Every time you look into a mirror, your brain is getting fooled into thinking there is another person on the other side. Watch the video to understand why this happens.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Why are real images always inverted?
Are real images always smaller than objects?
Why is it called a virtual image?
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