Method of images
The method of images (or method of mirror images) is a mathematical tool for solving differential equations, in which the domain of the sought function is extended by the addition of its mirror image with respect to a symmetry hyperplane. As a result, certain boundary conditions are satisfied automatically by the presence of a mirror image, greatly facilitating the solution of the original problem.
Method of image charges
The method of image charges is used in electrostatics to simply calculate or visualize the distribution of the electric field of a charge in the vicinity of a conducting surface. It is based on the fact that the tangential component of the electrical field on the surface of a conductor is zero, and that an electric field E in some region is uniquely defined by its normal component over the surface that confines this region (the uniqueness theorem).
The method of images may also be used in magnetostatics for calculating the magnetic field of a magnet that is close to a superconducting surface. If the superconductor is an ideal diamagnet (into which the magnetic field does not penetrate), the mirror image of the magnet will have a magnetization vector that is mirrored, but of the same sign. This is due to an additional sign change upon mirroring the magnetization, an axial vector. The force between the magnet and the superconducting surface is therefore repulsive. In order to take into account the magnetic flux pinning phenomenon in type-II superconductors, the frozen mirror image method can be used.