Photonics Dictionary


Convex is an adjective used to describe a surface or shape that curves outward, bulges, or has a rounded and outwardly extending appearance. In the context of geometry or optics, a convex shape is one that is curved or sloped outward, creating a surface that is raised or protruding.

For example:

Convex lens: In optics, a convex lens is thicker at the center than at the edges, causing light rays passing through it to converge. Convex lenses are commonly used in magnifying glasses, eyeglasses for farsightedness, and various optical instruments.

Convex mirror: A convex mirror curves outward, with the reflecting surface forming a rounded shape. Convex mirrors diverge parallel light rays, making them useful for applications such as side-view mirrors on vehicles, surveillance mirrors, and security mirrors.

Convex surface: In general terms, a convex surface refers to any surface that curves or slopes outward, creating a raised or bulging region.

The opposite of convex is concave, which describes a surface or shape that curves inward. The distinction between convex and concave is crucial in various fields, including optics, geometry, and industrial design, as the characteristics of curved surfaces influence their optical properties or functional applications.
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