List the sign conventions for reflection of light by spherical mirror. Draw a diagram and apply these conventions in the determination of focal length of a spherical mirror which forms three times magnified real image of an object placed. 16 cm in front of it.

Pole (P) of the mirror is taken as the origin and the Principal axis is taken as the horizontal X- axis. The sign conventions are as follows:

The object is always placed on the left side of the mirror.

All the distances measured to the right side of the origin are taken as positive, while the distances measured to the left side of the origin are taken as negative.

The object distance is always negative.

All the distances parallel to the principal axis of the mirror are measured from the pole of the mirror.

Distances measured vertically upwards from the principal axis of the mirror are taken as positive.

Distances measured vertically downwards from the principal axis of the mirror are taken as negative.

The focal length of Concave mirror is negative while that of convex mirror is positive.

The figure below illustrates the conventions used.

Given;

Magnification (m) = -3 (real image is inverted always).

Object distance (u) = -16cm.

Ray diagram can be shown as below

By Magnification Formula;

Magnification,

Where,

v is the image distance

u is the object distance

v = -3 × 16 = -48cm.

Image distance (v) = -48cm.

By mirror formula;

Therefore the focal length is -12 cm. Since the focal length is negative, therefore the mirror is concave mirror.

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