You have learnt in the text how Huygens’ principle leads to the laws of reflection and refraction.
Question:

You have learnt in the text how Huygens’ principle leads to the laws of reflection and refraction. Use the same principle to deduce directly that a point object placed in front of a plane mirror produces a virtual image whose distance from the mirror is equal to the object distance from the mirror.

Solution:

Let an object at O be placed in front of a plane mirror MO’ at a distance r (as shown in the given figure).

A circle is drawn from the centre (O) such that it just touches the plane mirror at point O’. According to Huygens’ Principle, XY is the wavefront of incident light.

If the mirror is absent, then a similar wavefront X’Y’ (as XY) would form behind O’ at distance r (as shown in the given figure).

$X^{\prime} Y^{\prime}$ can be considered as a virtual reflected ray for the plane mirror. Hence, a point object placed in front of the plane mirror produces a virtual image whose distance from the mirror is equal to the object distance $(r)$.

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