Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Casting Shadows
Name: Isobelle
Status: student	
Age:  N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
Are there any mathematical concepts involved in measuring the casting of shadows of an object? What are they? And do the concepts apply for every shape of an object, like for example, a square and a circle, or an object that has an irregular shape, will the same method be used to measure it?



Replies:
Trigonometry, the mathematics of angles, has direct application to the lengths etc. of shadows.

Vince Calder


You can use geometry with the casting of shadows. Consider wht a shadow is: blocked light. Light is blocked when something is directly between the light source and the position on the wall. Beams of light that can travel in a straight line from source to wall will not be blocked. Beams that hit the object do not continue to the wall. If you sketch the source, object, and wall, you can use a string or a pencil to fond the boundary of the shadow. You can use geometry to calculate the size of the shadow.

Kenneth Mellendorf



Click here to return to the Mathematics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory