Drawing ray diagrams for plane mirrors

This is a short tutorial on how to draw ray diagrams for plane mirrors. Click on the images to view a larger version.

initial ray diagram

Initially, we have an object in front of a plane mirror.

First, we draw an image of the object on the other side of the mirror

2nd ray diagram

Distance A is equal to distance B and the image size is the same size as the object size.

Second, we draw light rays from the image to the eye

3rd ray diagram

The image is virtual. Broken lines from the image to mirror indicate virtual rays. Virtual image: Light rays do not actually meet at the image position. Because of that, a virtual image cannot be projected on a screen.

Continuous lines from the mirror to eye indicate the reflected rays.


Third, we join the light rays from the mirror to the object

4th ray diagram


Lines joining the object to the positions of the reflected rays on the mirror represent the incident rays.



Properties of image formed in plane mirror:

  • Same size as object
  • Laterally inverted (Left becomes right, right becomes left)
  • Upright
  • Virtual
  • As far behind the mirror as the object is in front


Back To Reflection And Refraction Of Light (O Level)

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