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Spinning Shadows

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Abstract:

If a spinning sphere casts a shadow, does the shadow also spin? This riddle is the point of departure for an investigation into the nature of shadow movement. A general theory of motion will encompass all moving things, not just physical objects. Ultimately, I argue that round shadows do indeed spin. Shadows are followers of the objects that cast them. Parts of the shadow correspond to parts of the leader, so motion of the caster's parts accounts for motions of the shadow's parts. I conclude with a discussion of how the dynamic aspects of shadows impose subtle constraints on other puzzles about shadows.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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