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Lesson Plan: Drawing Ray Diagrams for Concave Mirrors Science

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to draw diagrams of light rays interacting with concave mirrors.

Objectives

Students will be able to

  • show, using diagrams, that parallel incident rays on a spherical mirror are reflected through the focal point of the mirror,
  • show, using diagrams, that incident rays that pass through the focal point are reflected parallel to the optical axis,
  • show, using diagrams, that incident rays that pass through the center of curvature are reflected back through the center of curvature,
  • recall that a real image is an image that can be projected onto a screen,
  • recall that a virtual image is an image that cannot be projected onto a screen,
  • draw ray diagrams to determine the position of an image produced by reflection off a spherical mirror,
  • identify, from ray diagrams of reflection off spherical mirrors, whether the image is real or virtual,
  • identify, from ray diagrams of reflection off spherical mirrors, whether the image is magnified or reduced in size,
  • identify, from ray diagrams of reflection off spherical mirrors, whether the image is inverted or upright.

Prerequisites

Students should already be familiar with

  • the idea that light travels in straight lines,
  • reflection off flat mirrors,
  • drawing diagrams of reflection off flat mirrors,
  • what concave mirrors are.

Exclusions

Students will not cover

  • convex mirrors,
  • lenses,
  • refraction,
  • wavefronts,
  • aberration,
  • curved mirrors that are not spherical mirrors, such as parabolic mirrors.

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