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I understand that virtual images are named because the rays that result from the reflected image "appear" to be emanating from an object (or resulting virtual image) behind a flat or convex mirror. However, I have two perhaps dumb questions:

  1. All images "look" like they come from behind a mirror. Images in concave mirrors, which should produce real images beyond the focal point, look like they're behind a mirror. Is this still the proper distinction?

  2. If this is the case, how do we distinguish really the difference between real and virtual images? It is possible to still see oneself in convex mirrors and concave mirrors alike.

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All images "look" like they come from behind a mirror. Images in concave mirrors, which should produce real images beyond the focal point, look like they're behind a mirror.

I think you are claiming that a real image produced by a concave mirror, which is theoretically in front of the mirror, in practice always seems to be located behind the mirror. I would disagree with that claim. The 'mirascope' in this youtube video produces a real image that is, convincingly, located in front of the concave mirror. Someone looking at this real image feels an urge to touch it. I guess part of the trick of the mirascope is that the observer is unable to see the edge of the mirror. Instead the mirascope provides the edge of the opening at the top, slightly below the image, as a reference background for millimeter-precision depth perception based on parallax.

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A real image is what the human eye or a camera records. A virtual image is a computer render of what may or not actually exist.If you put screen at the point of the image you will block the path of light for virtual image and so no image will be created/ you will observe the image projection to the screen in case of real image.

A real image is formed by a concave mirror or a convex lens , while a virtual image can be formed by any lens/mirror..

It's hard to distinguish between real and virtual images.When the ray after reflection if they actually converge to form an image it is called real image.It can catch on screen..When the rays after reflection appear to diverge from the mirror, it is called virtual image.It cannot catch on screen.

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