How to Project an Image With a Concave Mirror

Written by kiley mitchell
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How to Project an Image With a Concave Mirror
Concave mirrors are often used in reflector telescopes. (telescope image by Warren Millar from

Concave mirrors can be useful for blowing up smaller images onto larger surfaces. If you have small image on a slide, projecting it with a concave mirror can allow you to see more detail on a larger scale. A concave mirror is one in which the angles of the mirror point inward. Light hits the opaque or transparent image and reflects through the mirror onto the larger surface. Concave mirrors are often used in reflector telescopes and in classrooms.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Concave mirror
  • Small flashlight
  • Small opaque or transparent image
  • Large white screen or wall

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  1. 1

    Set up the concave mirror close to a white wall or screen. The angles of the mirror should be moving inward away from the screen. If the mirror does not have a stand, have a second person hold the mirror.

  2. 2

    Place the small opaque or transparent image close to the mirror. The image should be on the side opposite of the screen so the edges of the mirror curve in on the image.

  3. 3

    Position the small flashlight behind the image so it forms a straight line with the image and mirror.

  4. 4

    Turn on the small flashlight. This should project the image onto the larger screen or wall.

  5. 5

    Turn off the lights in the room. This will give a clearer picture of just the image.

  6. 6

    Move the flashlight and image closer and farther away until you get the best possible picture of the image.

Tips and warnings

  • The closer the image is to the white screen or wall, the larger it will be.
  • To get an even clearer picture, cover the sides of the flashlight to direct the light straight onto the image.

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