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Concave Vs Convex ...

April 25, 2014 11:21

It is a general question asked by several auto fanatics that which type of mirrors are used in the making of a car and how they are utilised. An automobile is equipped with a curved mirror, which has a slightly bulging reflective surface. A curved mirror can be of two types depending upon the shape of the bulge, namely Convex – which bulges outwards and Concave – which bulges inward. Concave car mirrors are placed on the side-view mirror of the automobile, whereas, the convex car mirrors are placed on the headlight. An analogy between these types of mirrors can be helpful in answering the aforementioned question.

A convex mirror has an outward curve, meaning that the reflecting surface is focussed towards the source of light falling onto it. Such mirrors create a virtual image of the object and this image is lightly diminished as compared to the object's actual size. This is why in some of the cars, the passenger side-mirror is generally inscribed with a warning, which states that “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear”. The convex mirror produces an upright image of any object and offers a wide viewing area as compared to the plane mirror. The usage of this type of mirror can be perceived on the car rear-view mirror, side-view mirror and even the motorcycles. These mirrors in the vehicles help in cutting down the blind spots as long as the object is in their focus.

A concave mirror, on the other hand, has the reflecting surface, which bends inwards and is away from the light source. These mirrors reflect the light falling on them to one focal point; thus creating a reflective image of the object, which is actually larger than its original size. These types of mirrors are placed on the headlights of the car, as they help in focussing the light from the vehicle's lightning system and reflect it into a more wide area. This is why the light rays from the automobile's lightning system reaches to a far distance during the operation and guides the driver to the road. What's more is that a concave mirror is also used in the solar powered energy devices as they concentrate the entire beam of sunlight into a definite point; thus helping in the storage of the sun's energy. These concave mirrors are, therefore, being utilised in the upcoming cars, which will be using solar energy as an alternate fuel source.

All the cars in India are equipped with these two types of mirrors on their side-view, rear-view panel and the headlight cluster. A car mirror is generally brittle and can be broken easily in case of even a small collision. The same can be purchased through a variety of car accessories shops, which are available in the domestic market. They generally cost between Rs. 600 – Rs. 2000, depending upon their manufacturer and quality. It is however advised that before purchasing the same, buyers should check if they aren't broken or have scratches as this might reduce the visibility.


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