Lumia Box - Feedback from our Visitors

Q: Hi! I am in the fourth grade. This looks like fun.
Can you tell me what size the apertures should be?
Can I trace the shapes you have on your web page or should
they be much bigger? I am excited about starting my
science project. Thank you.
Kelsey in California

Hi Kelsey,
They should be small, about 6 to 12 mm or 1/4 to 1/2
inch. If this is the size they print out from your computer,
you may trace them. If you have more questions, please feel
free to write again. Have fun!

My Science project, (The Lumia Box), turned out great.
Thank you. I will take it to the Science Fair this
Saturday and show many other kids how to make one. I
love the 3D effect.
Kelsey in California
Q: Hello I am a fourth grader. I am doing a lumia box for a science fair experiment. Can you please send me some information that I can use for my demonstration.
You can email me.
Thank You,
Q: Hello.I am a fourth grader.I am doing one of your experiments.
please send me some information on the lumia box.
A: Hi Steven,
How it works:
The lumia box creates a shadow image.
The shadow is the area around the shaped opening or "aperture".
The bright image is formed in the shape of the aperture.
Every light source will create light and shadow areas on the screen.
If the light source is a point of light (like a Christmas tree lamp or candle) then the image of the cutout area will be sharp.
If the size of the light source is large (like a fluorescent light fixture or a window) then the image will be smeared out.
If you use a lot of light sources, all points, like a whole string of Christmas tree lights, you will get many images on your screen.
You should also visit my mini-maglite experiments page, because there is information about shadows (and some diagrams) there too.
Remember that light rays travel in straight lines, from the source of light to the screen.
There are many rays of light coming out in all directions from the bulb. Some hit the solid part of the aperture and stop. Some pass through the aperture and hit the screen.
Drawing a diagram of this will help understand and explain to others what's happening.
There is more that can be said about this. If you don't understand this, please write back and I will try to explain more.
I hope this helps! Good luck!

Thank You for getting back to me so soon.
I am very excited about this project. The pictures you have are neat.
I am having a little trouble understanding this. Could you break it down a little more?
I appreciate your help.
Do you have any other suggestions besides Christmas lights? Something I can put on display in the school auditorium.
A: I wish I could just draw you a picture; it would explain it so much better.
But imagine rays of light, like straight wires or strings. They start at the lightbulb, and travel outward from there in all directions.
Let's say there is a wall nearby. Then the rays will strike the wall, bounce off, and some of them will be headed toward your eyeballs.
If the rays of light make it into your eyeballs, you will see brightness. If not, you will see dimness.
If you put your hand between the lightbulb and the wall, your hand forms a shadow on the wall. This is because only the rays that are passing by your hand make it to the wall. The rays that hit your hand bounce off of it, and to your eyes, your hand, not the wall, looks bright.
The lumia box does the opposite of forming shadows; it forms light regions on the screen, but it works for the same reason:
the light that makes it through the aperture forms brightness; the light that hits the aperture is stopped.
I strongly suggest you play around with the ideas on the mini-maglite page. It will help.
I also think Christmas lights will look just fine in your exhibit. You don't have to spread them across the room; in fact, it looks best when the lights are close together, the way they are when they are wound around that thing they come on in the box.
That way, they will form lots of images in your lumia box!
Q: I am assisting my daughter with making this box. We question on how to assemble the box, first of all we are using a shoe box. Is one end completely closed and the other end has a square opening. Then put tissue over the square opening? The instructions are good, but this is new to us.
Thank You Ms. Moore
-- A: Well, I don't know which ends of the box you're using, but picture this:
Your lumia box should end up being a lot like an old-time view camera.
Remember those ones where the photographer got under that black cloth before taking the picture? He was actually looking at the ground-glass screen of his camera.
The tissue paper screen should end up as large as you can make it, and be on the opposite side of the box from the hole that the light comes in. So what I do is use a box with a lid, leave the lid off, and use that whole side for the screen.
Hope this helps!
yes it does.
Q: Thank you for all of your help!
The Lumia Box is a neat idea.
I have been experimenting with different colored tissue paper.
Since the Science fair will be held in the school auditorium which is well lit I put blue tissue paper on the box. I found it easier to see the images that way. What color do you usually use?
- I usually use white....
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Updated 26 April 2004