What is the difference between real and virtual image?

By Rebecca
2 Min Read

What is the difference between real and virtual image: The terms “real image” and “virtual image” refer to two different types of images. The primary distinction between actual and virtual images is the method through which they are created. When rays converge, a true image is generated, whereas when rays just appear to diverge, a virtual image is formed.

What is the difference between real and virtual image

What Is the Difference Between a Real and a Virtual Image?

The light source and the screen must be on the same plane to produce a realistic image. A converging lens or a concave mirror is used to create real images. The size of the true image is determined by the object’s location.

A virtual image is a vertical image in which the rays appear to diverge. A divergent lens or a convex mirror is used to create a virtual picture. Tracing genuine rays that emerge from an optical device backward to observed or apparent origins of ray divergences yields a virtual image. A virtual image cannot be projected onto a screen because the rays never truly converge.

Difference Between Real Image and Virtual Image
Real Image Virtual Image
Real images are inverted Virtual images are erect
Convex lenses form a real image  Concave lenses form a virtual image
Real images are formed on the screen Virtual images appear to be on the lens or the mirror itself
Real images are formed by a concave mirror The 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.

Following is the ray diagram of a real image:

What is the difference between real and virtual image(1)

Following is the ray diagram of the virtual image:

What is the difference between real and virtual image(2)

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Rebecca is an Independent content writer for breldigital, She writes content on any given topic. She loves to write a case study article or reviews on a brand, Be it any topic, she nails it