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PHY2049L – EXPERIMENT #213 (PART A)
PHYSICS 2049L – EXPERIMENT #213: LENS-MIRROR CONCAVE
Driving Question | Objective
What is the radius of curvature of the concave spherical mirror provided by your instructor? Use the
principles of reflection and the spherical mirror equation to experimentally determine the radius of
curvature of a concave spherical mirror.
Virtual Lab Equipment
Light rays reflecting from a mirrored surface obey the Law of Reflection: the
incident angle θi of a reflected light ray is equal to the reflected angle θr,
where both angles are measured relative to a line normal to the reflecting
In the case of a concave spherical mirror, the surface of the mirror is
curved in the shape of a section of a sphere with radius R.
(R is also known as the mirror’s radius of curvature). Because of this
curvature, light-rays incident on a concave mirror, parallel to its
optical axis, have incident angles that increase as the distance
between the optical axis and the light ray increases. These varying
incident angles cause the parallel light rays to reflect from the mirror
and converge to one point, F along the optical axis known as the focal
point. The distance f from the mirror’s surface to the focal point is
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