Difference between Mirror and Lens

In simple terms, mirror means a smooth and highly polished glass surface, through which images are formed by reflection, as the light falls on it. A plane mirror gives a real-looking undistorted image, while a curved mirror may distort, magnify, or reduce the image in various ways. A lens is a part of the transparent refracting medium, (i.e. glass), bounded by two surfaces, of which at least one is spherical. It helps in the formation of images, as the light passes through the medium. A lens forms images of objects situated in front of it.

The mirror is the apparatus that reflects the light falling on them. Whereas, lenses are the ones that manipulate the light.

Difference between Mirror and Lens


  • Mirror implies a glass surface with a silvery backing, that produces an image through reflection. By the term ‘mirror’ we mean a shiny piece of glass, that is polished from the back, which reflects a clear image of the object, placed in front of it.
  • The mirror is defined as a shiny glass object, with a silvery coating at its back, which reflects light and results in the formation of an image of the object, which is in front of it.
  • It is used in our homes, to see the reflection of our face or other objects.
  • A mirror is either plane or spherical.
  • Nature It can be plane or curved.
  • Law of reflection – as the light ray strikes the mirror, it reflects off the light in a different direction, resulting in the formation of an image.
  • Equation: 1/v + 1/u = 1/f


  • The lens is a transparent substance of glass or plastic, bound by two surfaces, whose at least one surface is curved. It is a transparent piece of glass, with a spherical surface, that concentrates or disperses the rays of light falling on it.
  • Lens implies a piece of transparent material, i.e. glass or plastic, that has two opposite surfaces, one or both of which are curved. It is most commonly used for correcting vision.
  • Lenses are either singly used or in a combination of two or more simple lenses in an optical device, so as to produce an image by converting the beam of light.
  • A lens has two surfaces, at least one of which is curved inwards or outwards.
  • It is usually curved, with one or both sides.
  • Law of refraction – in the case of lenses, the light ray enters the medium (lens), which refracts (bends) the rays in a different direction, creating a focus, from where the rays seem to originate.
  • Equation: 1/v + 1/u = 1/f.