Science

Difference between Concave and Convex Lenses

A lens is a transparent medium that can be glass, crystal, or plastic. This deflects light rays (refraction) thanks to the fact that of its two surfaces, at least one is always curved. There are two types of lenses, converging or convex and diverging or concave. Each of these types, in turn, is divided into three others each.

In general, if the noun is used in the feminine (the lens), one speaks of the optical glass, while when using it in the masculine -and plural (the lenses), one speaks of the devices that serve as an aid in vision problems, also called glasses.

Comparison chart

convergent (convex)
divergent (concave)
Explanation Also called positive lenses. When light passes through this type of lens, it converges (joins) at a certain point. As for the divergent, or negative, these cause the light rays that pass through them to separate or diverge.
Characteristics Converging lenses are thick in the center and get progressively narrower towards the edges. Unlike converging lenses, diverging lenses are thick at the edges and this thickness progressively decreases as it approaches the center.
Types Converging lenses can be: 

  • biconvex
  • Planoconvex
  • Or concavo-convex
As for diverging lenses, these can be: 

  • biconcave
  • Planoconcave
  • Or convex-concave
Medical prescription lenses Glasses are the most traditional way to correct vision problems. Converging lenses are especially useful for treating problems such as farsightedness, eyestrain, and astigmatism. As for the concave type lenses or glasses, these are used almost exclusively in the treatment of myopia.

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