Get to Know the Differences Between Real Image and Virtual Image

Real Image and Virtual Image

A picture represents a topic that has been placed somewhere in front of a mirror or lens in its most basic form. Depending on their rules, reflected or refracted rays may collide and combine to generate an image.

It is crucial to note that rays do not necessarily cross but instead seem to do so in this case, and it can also produce visuals. Therefore, photographs are classified as either real or virtual in their composition depending on how rays meet or seem to meet.

Before getting into real and virtual image differences, get acquainted with both concepts.

What is a virtual image?

Light rays converge at a specific location after being reflected or refracted from an object like a mirror or lens. Virtual pictures are those images that seem to be produced just in front of a mirror. Behind the mirror, however, there is no reflection of the person’s face. When light beams are reflected or refracted, they create a virtual picture.

Images that only seem to be produced at the edge of a mirror are known as virtual images. However, there is no picture there at all. Reflections are created when light rays that have been reflected or refracted have diverged. For example, if an item is permitted to shine on the mirror, the reflections of that object’s light rays create an illusion that they’re diverging someplace beyond the mirror.

No light reaches behind a mirror. Thus it’s usually claimed that rays seem to fulfil someplace since it’s simply the observer’s perspective. ‘ Because of this, virtual pictures are frequently not seen on the screen. In the case of plane mirrors, virtual images are generated. Another essential element to keep in mind is that virtual visuals aren’t only figments of our imagination.

As a result, they have a distinct form and size, making them easily recognisable to the human eye or any other device. A virtual picture can only be seen on a computer screen, and a virtual picture is a standing image that is possible when the rays seem to diverge but do not do so. We may create a virtual picture with the aid of a diverging lens or convex mirror.

Allowing light rays from an object to hit the mirror causes the mirror to reflect light rays, giving the illusion that light is diverging behind the glass. There is no light behind the mirror as the spectator sees it, so the rays seem to meet someplace. The screen does not show any virtual pictures.

The plane mirrors’ pictures are mainly of the virtual kind, and the fact that virtual visuals aren’t made up is also a crucial consideration. As a result, we can view virtual pictures with our eyes or other optical devices since they have a defined form and size.

What is a Real Image?

The convergence of beams of light after they’ve been reflected or refracted from a mirror or lens is what produces real pictures. Actual pictures are created when light rays deliberately contact one another. On a computer screen, you may view inverted versions of existing images.

An item may be positioned in front of a concave mirror, with its reflection striking the convex surface. When numerous light beams hit a mirror, the rays are reflected and meet at some point in front of the mirror, following the rules of reflection. It must direct rays of light at the exact location to create a Real picture. It may show an actual image on a computer screen.

To get an accurate picture, the light source and the screen must be on the same level. It may use a converging lens or concave mirror to capture the image. The size of the picture is determined by where the item is placed. At the point when light rays interact with one other, a genuine picture is created. On the screen, real pictures seem to be reversed.

It may use a concave mirror to collect light reflected from an item put in front of it, and then it can use that light to illuminate the concave mirror itself. When many light beams hit the mirror, they all reflect and meet by reflection principles in front of the mirror. As the light rays converge on a specific location, a visual picture of the item is created there. It is important to observe here that the beams diverge from a particular location after merging.

Comparison of a Real Image with a Virtual Image

In the table below, a comparison between the two on 6 parameters has been done.

Parameters Real Image               Virtual Image
Definition When the light beams meet at a certain point after reflection, a genuine picture is formed. It is called a virtual picture when the light rays seem to meet at a specific location following the mirror’s reflection.
Interaction of light rays Real images and virtual images are very different in many ways. The convergence of the rays was seen.
Image formed The result is an inverted picture. An upright or erect image is seen in the photograph.
Lens used The Lenses Converge Changing Perspective
Mirror used Reflective Concave The plane, Convex, and Concave Mirror
Image reception It may show an actual picture on a computer screen. Virtual images cannot be shown on the screen, and the Image seems to be on the mirror or lens.



To give a realistic image, the screen and the light source must be on the same plane. The usage of a converging lens or a concave mirror is required to produce realistic images. When it comes to the size of the final picture, the object’s position has an influence.

A convex mirror or a divergent lens are used to produce a virtual image of anything. The discovery of a virtual image is made possible by tracing real rays originating from an optical device and returning to seen or apparent sources of ray divergences throughout their journey. When the rays in a virtual picture seem to diverge, the result is an upright image.

 It is unable to display a virtual picture onto a screen because the rays never wholly converge.


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