PhysicsLAB Lab
Ray Diagrams for Diverging Mirrors

In this lab, you will construct the THREE ray diagrams for diverging mirrors. In each diagram, use an arrow, 1.0 cm tall, pointing upwards as the object. Label it with an O. For your convenience, blank diagrams will objects already provided are located on this page -- in IE use landscape mode with margins of 0.5. Each case will use the three rays outlined in the lesson on diverging mirrors where you are provided with an animated gif to show you how the image is formed. First watch each animation, then draw your own diagram. Keep your three rays color-coded - that is, let ray #1 be the same color in each diagram, similarly with ray #2 and ray #3. When all three rays come together they locate your image. Draw the image in and label it with a capital I. You are then to measure, in centimeters, do, di, O and I.
 
Remember that
  • do represents the distance from the object to the mirror when measured along the axis of the mirror.
  • di represents the distance from the image to the mirror when measured along the axis of the mirror.
  • O is the height of the object (measured from tip to base - this should be 1.0 cm)
  • I is the height of the image (measured from tip to base)
 
Your diagrams will be graded on neatness, so be careful. Remember your arrows!
 
 
Case I: the object is located infinitely far away
 
Refer to the following information for the next five questions.

The image is formed on the line between region ____ and ____.
 
Choose the correct property. This image is
 
Choose the correct property. This image is
 
Choose the correct property. This image is
 
The purpose of this construction is to locate the ____ which defines the focal length of the lens.
 

 
 
Case II: the object is located two focal lengths in front of the mirror
 
Refer to the following information for the next four questions.

The image is formed in region ____.
 
Choose the correct property. This image is
 
Choose the correct property. This image is
 
Choose the correct property. This image is
 
Using the results of your diagram, measure each of the following four distances. Then calculate each magnification and the percent difference between their values.

measurements (cm)
O =
do =
di =
I =

magnification comparisons
M = |di/do|
M = |I/O|
% difference =
 
 
Case III: the object is located one focal length in front of the mirror
 
Refer to the following information for the next four questions.

The image is formed in region ____.
 
Choose the correct property. This image is
 
Choose the correct property. This image is
 
Choose the correct property. This image is
 
Using the results of your diagram, measure each of the following four distances. Then calculate each magnification and the percent difference between their values.

measurements (cm)
O =
do =
di =
I =

magnification comparisons
M = |di/do|
M = |I/O|
% difference =

Teacher Certification: 

 
Summary Questions
 
Is there any position in front of the mirror where an object can be placed and not form an image in a diverging mirror?
 
As the object is moved closer to the mirror, does its image get larger or smaller?
 
In which region on the mirror's axis is the image always formed?
 


This form is to be completed individually at the completion of your lab. Input only your numerical values - the correct units have already been supplied on the form. Make sure that your teacher or his/her designee signs off the Teacher Certification area before posting your final submission.


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