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Shadows


How are shadows made? 

When objects block light, shadows are made.

 

What kind of objects can make shadows?

Opaque or translucent objects can make shadows. Light passes straight through a transparent material. Therefore a transparent object does not make any shadow.

 

Transparent, translucent and opaque materials

 

Transparent Materials

 

We can clearly see through transparent materials, because light passes through transparent materials in straight lines.

E.g. – Glass
 

Translucent Materials

 

We cannot see clearly through translucent materials. Translucent materials let some light pass through them by scattering light in all directions.

E.g. – Tissue paper

 

Opaque Materials

 

We cannot see anything through opaque materials, because they do not let light pass through them, instead they block the light.

E.g. – Wood

 

Shadows

 

How is a shadow made?

When an object blocks light, it makes a shadow.

 

Where does the shadow appear?

A shadow appears the side of the objects furthest from the light source.

 

* An opaque material makes a dark shadow.

* A translucent material makes a faint shadow.

* A transparent material cannot make any shadow.

 

How does a shadow get bigger?

If an object is moved closer to the light source, its shadow gets bigger.
 

How does a shadow get smaller?

If an object is moved further away from the light source, its shadow gets smaller.

 

Shadows made by the Sun

 

Sun is a natural light source which is very bright. You may see it move across the sky during the day. But what actually happens is the Earth is spinning and it just looks like the Sun is moving across the sky.

 

When the Sun is lowest in the sky, it makes the longest shadows. This happens at the beginning and end of the day. 
 

When the Sun is highest in the sky, it makes the shortest shadows. This happens at midday.

Click here to read more lessons on ‘light’.