Does a Convex Mirror Make Things Bigger?

This article discusses if convex mirrors make things bigger. Convex mirrors are usually used as vehicle mirrors. You can also see them inside shops and buildings as they are used as security mirrors. You might be wondering what convex mirrors are and what kind of image it reflects. To help you learn more about these kinds of mirrors, we have shared an in-depth discussion below.

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Does a convex mirror make things bigger? Convex mirrors, also called curved mirrors make the object look shorter and wider than it is. The image is smaller than the object projected, but it gets larger as it approaches the mirror. These mirrors form a virtual image because the focus ad center of the curvature is imaginary points inside the mirror and cannot be reached. The images formed by a convex mirror cannot be projected onto a screen.

How does a convex mirror work? What are the uses of convex mirrors? How do you tell if a mirror is convex or concave? These are some of the answers that we will discuss in this article. If you want to find out more about convex mirrors and their uses, you can check out the rest of the article below.

does a convex mirror make things bigger
Image by jplenio from Pixabay

What is a Convex Mirror?

A convex mirror or also referred to as the curved mirror is a mirror wherein the reflective surface bulges toward the light source. The surface of the mirror can either be convex, which means that it bulges outward, or concave, which bulges inward. Convex mirrors reflect light outward and are not used to focus light.

A diverging mirror is a term that is based on the behavior of the mirror is making rays diverge upon reflection. When you direct a beam of light on a convex mirror, the mirror allows the initially parallel rays that make up the beam to diverge after it strikes the reflective surface.

How Does a Convex Mirror Work?

Convex mirrors work by reflecting the parallel rays of light as if they all emanated from a single point from somewhere behind the mirror. When you look at a convex mirror, the image that you see is virtual. The reason for this is that the light that bounces off never converges and it is this distorted image that provides a wider field view as compared to that of a normal mirror.

Image Formed by Convex Mirrors

Images formed with convex mirrors are always virtual images. The focal point and the center of curvature of the convex mirror are imaginary points that cannot be reached. Hence, the image is formed inside the mirror and cannot be projected on a screen. As a result, the image formed looks smaller than the object from a distance, but as the object is brought closer to the mirror, it gets larger.

Difference between Concave and Convex Mirrors

The main difference between a concave and convex mirror is the way that bulge. The reflecting surface of the convex mirror bulges outside while the reflecting surface of the concave mirror bulges inwards. Another difference would be the image that forms in the mirrors. Convex mirrors forms diminished images while concave mirrors form enlarged images. Below are the differences between a concave and convex mirror.


Concave mirrors have a coating on the outside of the spherical surface. The center of curvature and the reflecting surface falls on the same side of the mirror. On the other hand, convex mirrors have a coating on the inside of the spherical surface. The center of curvature and the reflecting surface falls on the opposite side of the mirror.

Position of the Focus

The focus of concave mirrors lies on the front and is positive, while the focus of convex mirrors lies behind the mirror and is negative.

Image Properties

Concave mirrors formed real, enlarged, and inverted images, while convex mirrors formed erect, virtual, and diminished images.

Image Projection

Concave mirrors formed real images that can be projected on a screen. On the other hand, convex mirrors formed images that are virtual and cannot be projected on the screen.


Because concave mirrors give a magnified image of the objects, they are used in reflecting telescopes, torchlights, and shaving mirrors. Convex mirrors cover a wider area of view so they are commonly used as a side view or rearview mirror in vehicles.

✅ Video- Concave and Convex Mirrors

Manocha Academy shared the video below on YouTube. These Curved Mirrors are discussed in the video. The difference between Concave and Convex Mirrors is discussed and compared with a Plane Mirror. Uses of Concave and Convex Mirrors are shown. Watch the video for the discussion.

Do Convex Mirrors Enlarge?

When the object is far away from a convex mirror, the image is upright and located at the focal point. As the object approaches the mirror, the image also approaches the mirror and grows until it has the same height as the object. Take note that convex mirrors produce virtual images that are located behind the mirror.

Do Convex Mirrors Make Images Bigger or Smaller?

Convex mirrors provide an upright and smaller image. However, these mirrors also have a wider field of view because they are curved outwards. For this reason, convex mirrors are preferred in vehicles.

Which Mirror Would Make You Look Larger?

Convex mirrors are curved forward and can make you look bigger and wider. Bother convex and concave mirrors are commonly used in funhouse distorting mirrors. You can view different sizes and shapes f yourself when you look in the mirrors.

How Do You Tell if a Mirror is a Convex or Concave?

A concave mirror reflects the inner side of the spherical mirror, while a convex mirror reflects the outer side of the spherical mirror. Concave mirrors form real and inverted images and also erect and virtual images.

Are Convex Mirrors Real or Virtual?

Convex and planer mirrors produce only virtual images. Only a concave mirror can be able to produce a real image and this only happens if the object is located at a distance that is greater than a focal length from the surface of the mirror.

What is a Convex Mirror Used For?

Convex mirrors have many uses, but they are commonly used as side-view mirrors on the passenger side of the car. This is because convex mirrors form an erect and smaller image for the way behind the car. These mirrors are also ideal for convenient shops and supermarkets and at any corner where anti-theft surveillance is needed. You can also find convex mirrors in turning off the road and parking.

Moreover, convex mirrors are used inside the buildings. Aside from that, they can be used in making lenses for sunglasses, magnifying glass, and telescopes. Convex mirrors can also be used as street light reflectors because they can be able to spread the light over a bigger and wider area. You can find these mirrors on the corner of roads to see and reflect any cars coming and avoid collisions.

Used for Traffic Mirrors

Convex mirrors are used as traffic mirrors because they increase traffic safety. They can be used in minor roads, smaller lanes, alleys, streets, and areas with bends and blind spots that are accident-prone. Convex mirrors are also used for industrial estates wherein pedestrians and road users are at constant risk of accidents.

Industrial Mirrors

Another use of convex mirrors is that they can be used as industrial mirrors. They are ideal to optimize traffic safety for industrial driveways where a driver has limited visibility. Moreover, they can be used to increase attention at dangerous spots in warehouses.

Shop Mirrors

Convex mirrors offer a practical solution for small areas like shops where surveillance is needed. It provides an excellent overview when installed on the wall or shelving. You can place them at the right angle to keep an eye on your products. Learn more about the different types of mirrors! You can check out this article that we have written that discusses if acrylic mirrors as good as glass. We have shared useful tips and information about this type of mirror.

What are the Examples of a Convex Mirror?

Some of the best examples of convex mirrors include vehicle rear side mirrors, calling bell, optical instruments, and many more.

Why are Convex Mirrors Used in Sunglasses?

Convex mirrors are also used in the lens of sunglasses. The purpose of convex mirrors is that they reflect the sunlight away from the person who is wearing the sunglasses.

Why are Convex Mirrors Used on Roads?

The main reason why convex mirrors are used on roads is that they allow a person who is driving to see around the bends and corners. Convex mirrors are useful for blind corners, driveways, and sharp bends to see the oncoming traffic.

What Size of Convex Mirror do I Need?

When choosing a convex mirror, it is beneficial to remember one foot of viewing per inch of the mirror. For instance, if you plan to install a convex mirror into an area that is expected to view at 25 feet, you should choose a convex mirror with a 26 inches diameter. You can also check out this article that we have written that talks about what an acrylic mirror is. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.


In this article, we have discovered what a convex mirror is, how it works, and whether it makes things bigger. We have also found out the many uses of convex mirrors. Aside from being used as vehicle mirrors, it also plays a big role in security purposes. We hope that this article has helped you learn more about convex mirrors. Thank you for reading!

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