Can Ghosts Cast Shadows?
Ghosts, thought by some to be the spirits of the dead, are allegedly seen across the world, in almost all cultures. Some witnesses’ report being terrified of apparitions, whilst others have experiences of euphoria, calmness or life-changing spiritual interaction.
Usually, spirits are reported as either looking very solid, and similar to a person known to the observer, or they are various shades of colour (white, grey, green, blue or red), see-through (in various shades of colour), or black, sometimes with the description of a black so dark, even in the night the spirit appears blacker than its surrounds.
One thing not usually reported, most likely as the observer is in fight or flight mode, is if the spirit is casting a shadow. Speculation that is widely held in the paranormal community is that spirits don’t cast shadows, as they are see-through objects, and therefore, a shadow won’t be seen, but is this really true, as many see-through objects cast shadows?
If one were to witness a physical apparition of a spirit, one would believe that the spirit is operating in our physical world, and therefore some basic principles of physics would therefore apply.
On the other hand, if spirits are purely a mental projection or hallucination, that we perceive through our “mind’s eye”, then physical world limitations would (and should) not apply.
Therefore, if we take than an apparition appears to us in the physical world, then it must be made of basic building blocks of some kind, chemicals, or the smallest building block, atoms.
So, do Atoms cast a shadow? (Yes, they do!)
An Australian team of scientists from Griffith University in New South Wales, led by Dave Keilpinski, photographed a single ytterbium ion in an electric field. The idea was to see how many atoms together are needed before a shadow is cast. As it turned out, a single atom cast a shadow.
So, let’s break this down, a shadow occurs when an object in a beam of light prevents a small portion of that light from continuing in the forward direction. A shadow is formed where less light is hitting the surface behind the object.
There are three ways in which light can be prevented from moving forward;
- Light Absorption: Light stops at an object, it is absorbed and converted to thermal energy (heat), because it does not reflect or refract.
- Light Reflection: Light hits an object and is reflected off the front surface and is redirected.
- Light Refraction: Light hits an object and passes through the object, with the light’s direction being bent by the object.
Refraction is the key principle to consider in the case of a ghost casting a shadow. For instance, refraction is light that is bent when the index of refraction differs from one location to the next. The air of itself, cannot refract light as it is a uniform structure, but by changing the temperature of the air, refraction can occur. Air expands when heated, and contracts when cooled. If a warm pocket of air sits next to a colder pocket of air, indices of refraction will occur, causing the shadow of “heat” on a surface that often looks like a wave.
In the case of an alleged apparition, should it not have a light refraction index, and cast a shadow?
To add further to this simplified explanation is that most appearances of alleged apparitions coincide with a “hot or cold” spot. Therefore, if truly in our physical realm, a spirit should always cast a shadow.
At the end of the day, all the above is my own personal speculation on why a ghost night cast a shadow. It cannot be proven one way or another without a ghost present and willing to be tested on. If you think my speculation has merit or not, please feel free to comment on the Haunts of Adelaide Facebook page in the comment section.
Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2018
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