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Outrunning Shadows

Outrunning Shadows

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Unfortunately, it won't last Unless, of course, you jump just as the sun sets: Timing may be tricky, but with a good pogo stick you might just do it. Source of the elephant picture: Depending on exactly what you mean by away from your shadow , I can think of a number of methods:. Your shadow, surely, is not just the apparent darkening of a 2D region of a diffuse surface you happen to be standing in front of; it is the entire volume of space that your presence is preventing light from reaching, the extrusion of your silhouette from the light source out to infinity for a point light source, or possibly to a point a finite distance away in the case of an area light source larger than you and sufficiently close.

Moving sufficiently fast with respect to the light source will cause this volume to deform in all kinds of peculiar ways, but can never detach it from you. If you want to put some distance between you and your shadow, you have to fly.


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  5. Actually, you have to put some distance between and the opaque surface right below you, so swimming in a tank would do the trick as well. This will disconnect you from your shadow. You don't need to be particularly fast this way - even if you are close to stalling, you will still be able to distance yourself from your shadow. You could also hide behind an opaque object so that you get no direct light from the light source. That way you won't have a shadow of your own.

    Alternatively you could just become transparent, but that may not be very healthy. There is a philosophical question of what happens to your shadow, after it would travel faster than the speed of light.


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    • This is easily realized with the thought experiment of an object is moving around a point source of light. This is the extrapolation of the equation: Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site the association bonus does not count.

      Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead? Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Can you run away from your shadow? Then comes in Mr Elephant saying something along the lines It doesn't matter how fast you go, you can't run away from your shadow At this point I would just like to say that I'm aware that this is a kids cartoon and all but in theory: Things like us don't move faster than light.

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      Also, it's not possible for us to run faster than the speed of light - or escape our shadow. However, one interesting thing to note also perhaps for ACuriousMind is that shadows can move faster than the speed of light. Does it help if I tell you that you are a few nanoseconds or so faster than your shadow?

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      Does an Event Horizon count as a shadow? Now all of this is for light that strikes the person at the same time. So far, so good. If you put it all together, you get something like this at any instant in time: BMS 9, 4 32 Liked this answer best! The shadow is a region where photons are blocked from reflecting from the ground.

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      If I move into a position it actually takes a split second for the shadow to form as there are photons behind me that are still travelling and will still illuminate the ground. Only when all of these photons have been reflected and no new photons arrive will the shadow form. Because of this your shadow will indeed become detached from you if you move fast enough. Dempsey Aug 15 '14 at 8: If the light runs parallel to the ground, the shadow will be detached even if the person is not moving at all.

      Then you can easily move away from the screen on which the shadow is projected, thus raising the distance. Do you have an idea of what would happen if the runner always was accelerating?

      I have in mind the fact that one can stay ahead of a beam of light if one is constantly accelerating i. Floris k 11 PlasmaHH - you have your wish Depending on exactly what you mean by away from your shadow , I can think of a number of methods: Position yourself in the shadow of some object larger than you.