Family Fling 2005

You can find all of these activities on Paul Doherty's website. Search for Paul Doherty on Google, I'm #1. or go to

Shadow Puppets, use a small light and your hands to make shadows that look like animals.
Move the Minimaglite toward and away from your hand and watch the shadows grow and shrink. Use two lights and notice two shadows.

Maglite Afterimage, Remove the lens cover from a Minimaglite, stare at a distant point while you move the light around in front of you. Notice the wonderful 3D afterimage. Notice how the afterimage changes color.

Finding Rays, Look at a Minimaglite with the lens cover removed. Notice the rays of light that surround the bulb like a dandelion. There are no rays around the bulb, they exist on your retina and your brain projects them into space around the bulb.

Phosphorescent Paper, You can use the Minimaglite to write on this glowing paper. It is the same material that is used in the popular Exploratorium exhibit "Shadow Box." Place an object over the paper, shine the light over the object and you will preserve a temporary record of the shadow of the object. This phosphorescent paper absorbs energy from light and then releases it slowly. (See the Exploratorium book Square Wheels for this exploration.)

Scientific Explorations with Paul Doherty

© 2005

12 November 2005