A real image and a virtual image are different forms of image. The main difference between real and virtual images lies in the way in which they are produced. A real image is formed when rays converge, whereas a virtual image occurs where rays only appear to diverge. Let us look at more differences between real images and virtual images in this article.

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Difference Between Real Image and Virtual Image

To obtain a real image the light source and the screen must be placed on the same plane. Real images are obtained using a converging lens or a concave mirror. The size of the real image depends upon the placement of the object.

A virtual image is an upright image that is achieved where the rays seem to diverge. A virtual image is produced with the help of a diverging lens or a convex mirror. A virtual image is found by tracing real rays that emerge from an optical device backward to perceived or apparent origins of ray divergences. Because the rays never really converge, a virtual image cannot be projected onto a screen.

Difference Between Real Image and Virtual Image
Real ImageVirtual Image
Real images are invertedVirtual images are erect
Convex lenses form a real image Concave lenses form a virtual image
Real images are formed on the screenVirtual images appear to be on the lens or the mirror itself
Real images are formed by a concave mirrorConvex mirror form a virtual image
Real images are formed due to the actual intersection of light raysVirtual 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.

See more: How Do I Know If A Square Root Is A Square Root A Rational Number S?

Following is the ray diagram of real image:

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Following is the ray diagram of virtual image:

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These were some differences between the real image and virtual image. If you wish to find out more, download BYJU’S The Learning App.

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