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A Comprehensive Guide to Homeschooling

Light and shadows


How is a shadow made? 

When an object blocks light, a shadow is 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




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




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

E.g. – Wood




How is a shadow made?

When an object blocks light a shadow is made.


Where does the shadow appear?

Shadows appear the side of the objects furthest from the light sources.


* Dark shadows are made by opaque materials.

* Faint shadows are made by translucent materials.

* Shadows are not made by any transparent material.


How do shadows get bigger?

If an object is moved closer to the light source,shadows get bigger.


How do shadows get smaller?

If an object is moved further away from the light source, shadows get 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.