Concave Mirror: Application and Uses

Mirrors were invented many years ago. People use these mirrors to look at themselves. As time passed, mirrors evolved, and many different types were created to be used for different purposes to make our lives easy. The invention of the concave mirror, convex mirror, etc., has brought a revolution in the world. These mirrors are used in different places and fields like scientific research, many machines, and even our cars. 

Spherical mirrors are those whose surface is cut out from curved surfaces. There are mainly two types of spherical mirrors, concave mirrors and convex mirrors. 

Let us start with Concave Mirror.

What is a Concave Mirror?

Concave mirrors are spherical mirrors that are dented inwards and have a reflective surface. The mirrors are curved inwards. It can focus and reflect parallel rays of light at a point known as the focus point. You can form different types of images depending upon at which distance you are placing the object. 

Like, if you keep an object between the focus and the pole, you will get an erect, enlarged and virtual image behind the mirror. Since light can converge after reflection from the mirror, these mirrors are also known as converging mirrors. 

Applications of a Concave Mirror

Concave mirrors are used or applied in many fields. Here are some applications of concave mirrors:

  • Torches and headlights

The bulb in the torch or headlight is placed at the mirror’s focus, and the mirror used as cover is concave. So, the parallel rays of light coming from the bulb get reflected in the mirror. As the light emerges from the torch or the headlight, the distance travelled is large, and it spreads so that people who are driving or using a torch can see the path ahead clearly. 

  • Telescope

Concave mirrors are used in different types of reflecting telescopes. These telescopes are used in observatory astronomy. The reflecting concave mirror helps to capture the light from different celestial bodies present. As the celestial bodies are far away, the light travels from them straight and follows a parallel path. 

The concave mirror is set to focus on the light rays from the flat mirror in the telescope. The flat mirror is kept at the focus of the concave mirror. Due to the converging nature of the concave mirror, the light from the celestial bodies increases; hence, the person standing on the opposite side can view the bodies clearly through the flat mirror.

  • Optical instruments used in the medical field

The concave mirrors are used in microscopes, otoscopes ( used to see the ears), ophthalmoscopes (used to check eyes), etc. The concave mirrors are used in simple diagnostic devices to allow doctors to see the problem clearly and diagnose it properly. 

The ENT doctors set up the lights in such a way so that the light can reflect and doctors can see the problem without any distortion. 

  • Solar furnace

Large concave mirrors are attached to the solar furnace. It gathers a huge amount of sunlight and then focuses on the focal point of the solar furnace. Then it transfers the heat or energy collected to use for cooking, generating hot water, and electricity. It is even used in melting metals. This process is very safe and also good for the environment. 

  • Mirror used while shaving

Concave mirrors are also used in shaving mirrors. As facial hairs are tiny and it is challenging to see them through a normal mirror. Hence concave mirrors are used. It helps to enlarge the image and help the person to focus and shave properly. 

  • Microscope 

Concave mirrors are used at the base of the microscope to enlarge the microscopic particles for a better view. The internal light, which can be inbuilt, sunlight or the light from a tube, passes through the mirror to the specimen. 

You can change the orientation of the mirror by rotating it. You can also zoom in on the specimen to get a clear and enlarged view. Hence, you can see the specimen through the eyepiece.

Examples of the Concave Mirror

You will find uses of the concave mirrors in your daily lives. While going to your school, you will find them in the headlight. You will also find them in complex devices which are used for scientific research or any fieldwork. ‘

Even in the medical field, you will find concave mirrors. Some examples of concave mirrors are head mirrors, optical instruments, the rearview mirror of the car, etc.

More about Concave Mirrors

There are many interesting facts that you should know about concave mirrors. Some facts of concave mirrors are as follows:

  • Concave mirrors are used in searchlights and reflectors. These mirrors help to concentrate on large distances. 
  • It is also used in bomb detectors and satellite dishes.
  • The edges of the concave mirrors can concentrate on the beam at a point that is slightly away from the original focal point. It is known as spherical aberration. This problem is faced by the reflecting or astronomical telescope. Due to this problem, the images become slightly hazy.
  • Depending on the distance of the object placed, there can be different types of image forms. The images can be enlarged or very small in size or something that the eyes cannot see. It is important to place the object at the right position or distance from it. Hence, any device that uses concave mirrors is very sensitive.
  • The concave mirror is used in a moving coil galvanometer.


The invention of the concave mirror has marketed a huge advantage in the history of the world. This simple mirror has helped develop a scientific mirror that is used to study and analyse. 

If concave mirrors were not invented, we could have never built telescopes, microscopes or torches. Therefore, the invention of the concave mirror has marked a big revolution in the world. 

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