PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Shadows are pretty much an everyday or every night occurrence. Since light travels in a straight line, when something gets in the way of that path, it creates an absence of light, or a shadow.
Not everything in the way of light causes a shadow, though, like other light sources. We are going to do an experiment that uses fire, so make sure you do this with a responsible adult.READ MORE: Pittsburgh International Airport Introduces New Dogs To The 'Paws Team'
When we light this candle, the light creates a shadow on the candle in front of it. Now, if we light the other candle, the flame really doesn’t cause a shadow, since light doesn’t block light. The flame does not cast a shadow when the light sources are similar, so what if we ramp up the light shining on the candle?
Notice, you can kind of see where the flame is, so something is going on! The flame is composed of more than just light. The fuel source and oxygen are big components in what you are seeing, and so is the heat the flame generates. Since the flame is much hotter than the surrounding air, it bends the light near the flame, creating the that wiggly line. Also, soot from the wick combusting can be seen as well. The light from the flame though, has no shadow.
A different way to show this is with two flashlights.READ MORE: A Special Relationship: Truck Driver Helps Lift The Spirits Of Young Boy With Cystic Fibrosis
A dim flashlight and a very bright one.
The dim flashlight illuminates our poster board. That dim light does not block the brighter light, though, so it cannot cast a shadow.MORE NEWS: Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank Sending Food To Louisiana To Help With Hurricane Relief