The Brightest Part of a Shadow Is in the Middle

Shed some light on the nature of shadows! Science sleuths investigate a 200-year-old theory that light will form a bright spot in the center of a sphere's or circle's shadow with a video from Veritasium. The resource explains the historical viewpoints of the theory, shows several different attempts at proving or disproving the theory, and the properties of light that make the phenomenon possible.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Incorporate the video into a lesson about the properties of light
  • Recreate the famed experiment as a demonstration or ask pupils to design their own versions
Classroom Considerations

  • Discuss the dual wave-particle nature of light, as well as key terms that describe light waves, before watching

  • Illustrates the importance of testing a theory before passing judgement upon its content
  • Narrator uses diagrams and visual aids to help convey the behavior of light and how the bright spot forms

  • None
Common Core