Difference between Real Images and Virtual Images

Real pictures are images generated by the converging of light rays at a spot after they have been reflected or refracted by a mirror or lens while A virtual picture is an image that only appears to be produced when viewed via a mirror.

Here are some of the main differences between them to help you understand how both differ:

Real Images Vs Virtual Images:

Real Images:

When light beams are focused to a certain point, an actual picture is created. On a screen, we may see a realistic image.

To generate a realistic image, the light source and the screen must be on the same plane.

The image can be obtained using a converging lens or a concave mirror.

The size of the picture is determined by where the object is placed.

At the point when light rays interact with one another, a genuine picture is formed. Natural visuals are reversed and may be viewed on the screen.

Virtual Images:

A virtual picture is one that we cannot see on a screen.

To create a virtual image, a divergent lens or a convex mirror is employed.

The advantage of virtual visuals is that they are not fictitious.

Because virtual pictures have specific shapes and sizes, we can view them with our eyes or any optical tool.

The picture is not visible behind the mirror. When reflected or refracted light beams diverge, a virtual picture is formed.

What is Difference between Real Images and Virtual Images?

Real images are generated by utilizing a converging lens or a concave mirror whereas A virtual picture is an upright image obtained when the rays appear to diverge.

Let’s discuss the difference between them as follows:

Real ImagesVirtual Images
Real images are always inverted.Virtual image are always erect.
To form an image, a convex lens is always utilized.Concave, convex, and plane mirrors can be used to create virtual pictures.
On the screen, real visuals are produced.Virtual pictures emerge on the lens or in the mirror.
Real images always have a converging lens.The virtual image always has a diverging lens.
A concave mirror is always used to create realistic pictures.A convex mirror creates a virtual picture.
Real images are created when light beams collide.The imaginary collision of light beams produces virtual images.
Actually, the light beams converge or meet at a specific spot.The light beams do not really intersect anywhere, yet it appears that they do behind the mirror.
Example: The lens in a projector that converges the picture on a screen.Example: The convex mirror used in car side mirrors shows the driver the road ahead of him.


After reading this article you learned a lot about the differences between real and virtual images. They are no longer able to confuse you.

The method of production differentiates a real image from a virtual image. Light beams converge to form a real image, whereas light rays diverge to form a virtual image.

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