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11/4/2010 9:21:23 PM
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Why can we see through bubbles yet they still cast a shadow?

Try this for yourself, it is really weird. A shadow is caused by light being blocked by an object, right? And we see things because light reflects off of them and into our retinas. So why are bubbles transparent (or glass, for that matter) yet they still cast a shadow? This works in and out of water, so light refraction isn't the answer. [Edited on 11.04.2010 1:22 PM PDT]
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  • Glasses also cast a shadow. I'm assuming it's something to do with the glass refracting or reflecting the light (same goes for the surface of the bubbles), causing less light to travel directly through, resulting in a shadow.

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  • i get you there, but i wonder why the shadow only forms around the edge of the bubble, and then about half way into it. The middle is light>?

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Guitarmasta101 i get you there, but i wonder why the shadow only forms around the edge of the bubble, and then about half way into it. The middle is light>?[/quote]Again likely due to refraction or reflection. Keep in mind the fact that the light has two layers of the bubble to pass through, along with a gas-filled chamber. The circular shape likely changes the path of the light, and this will likely occur less in the middle where the light hits a flatter surface. It's hard to explain, so I'll draw it and scan the image.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Guitarmasta101 i get you there, but i wonder why the shadow only forms around the edge of the bubble, and then about half way into it. The middle is light>?[/quote] The middle is transparent. The reason you can see a see-through bubble is because you can see the outline, which is what casts the shadow.

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  • [url=http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/3015/lightscan.jpg]Here we go.[/url] It's not entirely accurate, but meh.

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  • Bubbles and glass aren't entirely transparent, so they still block a very small amount of light. The edges of bubbles form the darkest shadows because light is blocked by the width of the material rather than the thickness.

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  • I've always wondered if a completely invisible object would cast a shadow. For example, a person with some type of armor/cloak that you could see through. He's still there, you're just seeing through him. Does he have a shadow?

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  • they're not completely transparent, that's why.

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  • Because the block a little bit of light, if they let all light through (casting no shadow) we would not be able to see them at all.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] HALOBUZZFREAK 4 I've always wondered if a completely invisible object would cast a shadow. For example, a person with some type of armor/cloak that you could see through. He's still there, you're just seeing through him. Does he have a shadow?[/quote]No. If something is completely transparent, all light passes through it, and no shadow is produced. Fun fact: If a person is invisible, he or she is also blind due to light not being able to focus on his or her retinas. (Thanks, Cracked.)

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Dropship dude Glasses also cast a shadow. I'm assuming it's something to do with the glass refracting or reflecting the light (same goes for the surface of the bubbles), causing less light to travel directly through, resulting in a shadow.[/quote]I've never seen glass cast a shadow

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  • Well Carbon Dioxide casts a shadow (if only slight), but that is transparent.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] spirit of sand [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Dropship dude Glasses also cast a shadow. I'm assuming it's something to do with the glass refracting or reflecting the light (same goes for the surface of the bubbles), causing less light to travel directly through, resulting in a shadow.[/quote]I've never seen glass cast a shadow[/quote]Stained glass makes colored shadows.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Rampant Tragedy [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] HALOBUZZFREAK 4 I've always wondered if a completely invisible object would cast a shadow. For example, a person with some type of armor/cloak that you could see through. He's still there, you're just seeing through him. Does he have a shadow?[/quote]No. If something is completely transparent, all light passes through it, and no shadow is produced. Fun fact: If a person is invisible, he or she is also blind due to light not being able to focus on his or her retinas. (Thanks, Cracked.)[/quote] :O That's a cool "fun fact".

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  • Bubbles (and glass for that matter) are not perfectly transparent.

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  • I like Shadows. :)

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