Virtual picture

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3D view of the beam path on the flat mirror
Construction of the virtual image when looking at an object through a magnifying glass.

In optics, a virtual image of a light- reflecting or luminous object is an optical image that, in contrast to a real image , cannot be displayed on a screen at the place where it appears. With converging lenses , it occurs when the object is between the focal point and the lens .

No rays of light emanate from the location of the virtual image (hence the term "virtual"), but the rays seem to come from the image, since our perception assumes that the rays of light are straight and , if necessary, extends the ray that hits the eye backwards.

Examples are:


  • Eugene Hecht: Optik , Oldenbourg, 5th edition 2009, ISBN 978-3-486-58861-3 . P. 259
  • Wolfgang Zinth, Ursula Zinth: Optics light rays - waves - photons. Oldenbourg Verlag Munich, 4th edition 2013, ISBN 978-3-486-72136-2 . P. 87

See also