Mirror vs Lens
Lens and mirror are two different devices which are used in optics. A mirror is a device that is based on the principle of reflection whereas lenses are devices that are based on the principle of refraction. Both of these devices are very important in fields such as optics, astronomy, photography and various other fields. In this article, we are going to discuss what mirrors and lenses are, the working principles of mirrors and lenses, their applications, and the similarities and differences between mirrors and lenses.
A mirror is an object that reflects light falling on it. Mirrors are generally made from applying a reflective coating. The reflective coating is made up of several layers of different material. First a Tin (II) chloride layer is applied to bind the silver layer to the glass layer. Then a silver layer is applied on top of the Tin (II) chloride layer. On top of these two layers, a chemical activator layer is applied to harden the silver. A copper layer is added for durability, and the whole thing is coated with a paint layer to stop corrosion. There are two main types of mirrors. These are plane mirrors and curved mirrors. Curved mirrors fall into two classes known as concave mirrors and convex mirrors. A mirror operates on the principle of reflection. The principle of reflection for any surface is that the angle of incident and angle of reflection are equal. These angles are measured from the normal line drawn to the reflective surface on the point of incident. This line is also on the plane which contains the incident and the reflective beam.
Lenses are devices which are used in optics and other related fields. Lenses manipulate light by using refraction. There are several types of mirrors. These are namely biconvex, Plano – convex, positive meniscus, negative meniscus, Plano – concave and biconcave. Lenses can be also classified into simple lenses and compound lenses. Lenses are used in applications such as telescopes, spectacles, contact lenses, cameras and various others. A perfect lens refracts all the light which incidents on it. Lenses are manufactured by grinding glass or clear plastics into desired shapes. The refraction from a mirror obeys Snell’s law.
What is the difference between Mirror and Lens?
• Mirrors are devices which are based on the principle of reflection whereas lenses are devices which are based on the theory of refraction.
• Material other than glass or clear plastic is required to manufacture mirrors, whereas lenses only require glass or clear plastic.
• A perfect mirror reflects 100% of light incident on it from the silvered surface. A perfect lens refracts 100% incident on it.
• There are only three main types of mirrors, whereas there are six main types of lenses.