Sunday, October 29, 2006


Among bodies of equal size, that one which is illuminated by the largest light will have the shortest shadow. Experiment confirms this proposition. Thus the body m n is surrounded by a larger amount of light than the body p q, as is shown above. Let us say that v c a b d x is the sky, the source of light, and that s t is a window by which the luminous rays enter, and so m n and p q are bodies in light and shade as exposed to this light; m n will have a small derived shadow, because its original shadow will be small; and the derivative light will be large, again, because the original light c d will be large and p q will have more derived shadow because its original shadow will be larger, and its derived light will be smaller than that of the body m n because that portion of the hemisphere a b which illuminates it is smaller than the hemisphere c d which illuminates the body m n.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


An inseparable shadow is that which is never absent from the illuminated body. As, for instance a ball, which so long as it is in the light always has one side in shadow which never leaves it for any movement or change of position in the ball. A separate shadow may be and may not be produced by the body itself. Suppose the ball to be one braccia distant from a wall with a light on the opposite side of it; this light will throw upon the wall exactly as broad a shadow as is to be seen on the side of the ball that is turned towards the wall. That portion of the cast shadow will not be visible when the light is below the ball and the shadow is thrown up towards the sky and finding no obstruction on its way is lost.

Monday, May 29, 2006


Derived shadows are of three kinds of which one is spreading, the second columnar, the third converging to the point where the two sides meet and intersect, and beyond this intersection the sides are infinitely prolonged or straight lines. And if you say, this shadow must terminate at the angle where the sides meet and extend no farther, I deny this, because above in the first on shadow I have proved: that a thing is completely terminated when no portion of it goes beyond its terminating lines. Now here, in this shadow, we see the converse of this, in as much as where this derived shadow originates we obviously have the figures of two pyramids of shadow which meet at their angles. Hence, if, as [my] opponent says, the first pyramid of shadow terminates the derivative shadow at the angle whence it starts, then the second pyramid of shadow--so says the adversary--must be caused by the angle and not from the body in shadow; and this is disproved with the help of the 2nd of this which says: Shadow is a condition produced by a body casting a shadow, and interposed between this shadow and the luminous body. By this it is made clear that the shadow is not produced by the angle of the derived shadow but only by the body casting the shadow; &c. If a spherical solid body is illuminated by a light of elongated form the shadow produced by the longest portion of this light will have less defined outlines than that which is produced by the breadth of the same light. And this is proved by what was said before, which is: That a shadow will have less defined outlines in proportion as the light which causes it is larger, and conversely, the outlines are clearer in proportion as it is smaller.