Ray Optics: Reflection and Mirrors

Reflection and Mirrors: Audio Guided Solution

Problem 15:

In the Fall of 2006, the Sky Mirror sculpture was opened in Rockefeller Center in New York City. Standing three stories tall and weighing 23 tons, its concave side faced the Rockefeller Center and its convex side faced Fifth Avenue.
a. A taxi on Fifth Avenue is located 38 m from the convex side of the sculpture and its image is one-fifth the size of the taxi. Determine the focal length of the mirror.
b. Estimate the image size and image distance of the 260-m tall Rockefeller Center if it is located an estimated distance of 95 meters from the concave mirror surface. Assume the focal length of the concave side is the same magnitude as the focal length of the convex side.

Audio Guided Solution

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Habits of an Effective Problem Solver

  • Read the problem carefully and develop a mental picture of the physical situation. If necessary, sketch a simple diagram of the physical situation to help you visualize it.
  • Identify the known and unknown quantities in an organized manner. Equate given values to the symbols used to represent the corresponding quantity - e.g., do = 24.2 cm; di= 16.8 cm; f = ???.
  • Use physics formulas and conceptual reasoning to plot a strategy for solving for the unknown quantity.
  • Identify the appropriate formula(s) to use.
  • Perform substitutions and algebraic manipulations in order to solve for the unknown quantity.

Read About It!

Get more information on the topic of Reflection and Mirrors at The Physics Classroom Tutorial.

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