To understand the difference between lens and mirror you have to understand how light behaves when it interacts with the surface.
First of all light doesn’t need any medium to pass through or to travel. To understand that you should know that voice needs a medium to travel. If you produce a sound in vacuum then no one can hear that because sound can not travel without medium.
Now when light interacts with any surface mainly two things happen. First, Some of light will travel through the surface and some portion of light will be reflected by the surface. It depends on the surface that which amount of light will pass and which amount of light will reflect.
When the ray of light interacts with the surface pass through the surface it is called refraction.
When the ray of light interacts with the surface and reflect from the surface it is called reflection.
Look at this image or diagram to clear your concept about reflection and refraction.
The process of reflection is the process because of which we can see the shape of the substance or surface.
What is the key difference between Lens And Mirror ?
To understand the difference between mirrors and lenses you have to understand the definition of both the object and concepts first. Once if you understand clearly that what mirror is and what lens is then you can find the difference between them yourself. Also you will learn little about the light rays in this article.
What is Mirror ?
Mirror is the shiny piece of glass which is silver coated from the back and because of that we can see the image of the object placed in-front of it.
Mirror is mostly polished.
Mirrors works on the concept or reflection which i mentioned above explaining interaction of light.
The glasses you see in the bathroom or on the dressing tables are mirrors.
What is Lens ?
Lens is the also piece of glass but not polished and it is transparent so it allows light to pass through. Lens can generate the same image placed in front of it but in reverse or upside down on the other side of it.
Lenses are transparent.
Lenses works on the concept of refraction which also i explained above.
The Glasses you see in the cameras or in the telescope or in the microscope are lenses.
So the main difference between lens and mirror is mirror is polished and reflecting piece of glass and lens is transparent piece of glass. Use of mirror is to reflect a light and the image and use of lens is to capture a light or object.
Both has their specific objectives and properties so its not fair to do comparison of mirror vs lens. People just have to learn about both the types of glasses individually.
So this is the basic Definition of lens vs mirror. There’s some types of mirrors and lenses you must have seen before.
Types of mirrors
Plain Mirror : Plain mirror is straight surface mirror with no curve. Mirrors you see in dressing table is plain mirror mostly.
Concave Mirror : A spherical mirror having inner curved reflecting surface known as concave mirror.
- Mirrors used as shaving mirror, Dental Mirror, Car headlight mirrors are concave mirrors.
Convex Mirror : A spherical mirror having outer curved reflecting surface known as convex mirror.
- Mirrors used as security mirrors, Rear view and side view mirrors of bikes and cars are convex mirrors.
If you want to understand More about mirrors then Read Deep & Scientific understanding of mirrors here.
You can see the reflection of lights in both concave mirrors and convex mirrors in below given image.
Types of lenses
Concave Lens : If the ray of light emitted on the lens and it changes direction and it refracts at the opposite side of the principal axis then its a concave lens
- Lenses used on street lights, Peepholes of the doors, lasers are the concave lenses.
Convex Lens : If the ray of light emitted on the lens changes its direction and refracts towards the principal axis then its a convex lens.
- Lenses Used on the Cameras, Magnifying glasses, Microscope, spectacles are the convex lenses.
If you want to understand more about lenses then Read Deep and scientific understanding of lens here.
You can see the refraction of the light in concave and convex lenses in below given diagram.
Key Difference Between Mirror And Lens : Mirror vs lens
|Mirror is the shiny piece of glass which is silver coated from the back and because of that we can see the image of the object placed in-front of it.||Lens is the also piece of glass but not polished and it is transparent so it allows light to pass through. Lens can generate the same image placed in front of it but in reverse or upside down on the other side of it.|
|Mirror is mostly polished.||Lenses are transparent.|
|Works on concept or law of reflection.||Works on concept or law of refraction.|
|The glasses you see in the bathroom or on the dressing tables are mirrors.||The Glasses you see in the cameras or in the telescope or in the microscope are lenses.|