Getting different shapes of shadows of a single object in Light, Shadows and images – Class 6 Science Experiment

Chapter Name: Light, Shadows and images

Activity Name: Getting different shapes of shadows of a single object in Light, Shadows and images

Activity Description:

In this experiment, we will explore the formation of shadows using a rectangular piece of cardboard. By manipulating the position of the cardboard in relation to a light source, we will observe and analyze the different shapes of shadows produced. The experiment can be conducted using sunlight or a torch as the light source.

Required Items:

  1. Rectangular piece of cardboard
  2. Light source (sunlight or torch)
  3. Open space for conducting the experiment

Step by Step Procedure:

  1. Select a suitable location with ample open space to perform the experiment. If using sunlight, choose a sunny area; if using a torch, ensure a darkened room.
  2. Obtain a rectangular piece of cardboard.
  3. Position the cardboard vertically on a flat surface or hold it upright with the help of a support.
  4. Place the light source (sun or torch) at a fixed distance from the cardboard.
  5. Observe the shadow cast by the cardboard on a surface (e.g., the ground or a wall).
  6. Experiment with different orientations and positions of the cardboard in relation to the light source.
  7. Note down the shapes of the shadows produced in each configuration.

Experiment Observations:

  1. Square-shaped shadow: Depending on the orientation and position of the rectangular cardboard, it is possible to obtain a square-shaped shadow.
  2. Triangular shadow: By tilting the rectangular cardboard at an angle, it is possible to produce a triangular shadow.
  3. Circular shadow: It is not possible to obtain a perfect circular shadow using a rectangular object. However, by varying the position and angle, an approximation of a circular shadow can be achieved.
  4. Other possible shapes: Apart from square, triangular, and circular shadows, other shapes like rectangles, parallelograms, trapezoids, and irregular shapes can also be observed.


  1. Take necessary precautions while using a torch or working with sunlight to avoid eye injuries.
  2. Conduct the experiment in a safe and open space, away from flammable materials.
  3. Handle the cardboard carefully to prevent any injuries or damage.

Lesson Learnt from Experiment:

The different shapes of shadows observed when the object (cardboard) is the same can be attributed to the interaction between light and the object. Shadows are formed when light rays are obstructed by an opaque object.

The shape of the shadow is determined by the shape and orientation of the object relative to the light source. In the case of a rectangular cardboard, variations in the position and angle of the cardboard lead to different shapes of shadows, including square, triangular, and other geometric shapes.

This experiment helps us understand how light and objects interact to form shadows, demonstrating the principles of light and shadow formation.

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