[time-nuts] science projects

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 9 03:59:39 UTC 2012

On 2/8/12 6:03 PM, Chris Albertson wrote:
> The number one TN science fair project would have to be measuring the
> speed of light using some simple, inexpensive method such as
> reflecting sunlight from rotating mirrors

Actually, that's probably not a good project: it's been done, in almost 
exactly that way.
The key to a winning project is doing something that nobody's done 
before.  It doesn't mean it has to be Nobel unique, but just different.

For instance, if you came up with an unusual way to measure speed of 
light (other than all the classic spinning mirror, toothed wheel, 
interferometer schemes)

Or, if you were to measure the Allen Deviation of a bunch of pendulums 
of different types. This would be a good junior division (grade 6,7,8: 
age 11-13) project because it would allow you to do some statistics 
(very unusual in junior division, beyond the usual misapplication of 
Excel Data Analysis tools), and if you could come up with some theory 
about why the ADEV would vary with material or length (e.g. smaller 
effect of air drag or something), you could test it.

In senior division, to be a top project, it would have to be something 
like we discuss on this list.  tvb's Cs clock verification of Einstein 
might work, but you'd have to be pretty good at showing why it's not 
just a rehash of someone else's traveling clock demo.  Something with 
coupled oscillator behavior in an interesting context would be 
interesting. (measuring the small coupling between mechanical 
oscillators on a concrete floor as a function of distance or orientation)

Building your own atomic standard from scratch would be impressive, but 
would be unlikely to be a top winner at state or ISEF level (they tend 
not to reward "design and build" engineering projects, even in the 
engineering categories, unless you've got some novel design feature 
you're trying.)

Characterizing some sort of oscillators could be a winner, especially if 
it's a kind of oscillator with usefulness that hasn't been well 
characterized before.

> On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 5:44 PM, Jim Lux<jimlux at earthlink.net>  wrote:
>>   While delayed, I would think that the signal freqs would still need to be
>> maintained...  hmmm, maybe not...   interesting science project... anyone?
>>   anyone?  ;-)
>> Jerry
>> ----
>> I'm waiting to see a good time-nuts project at the science fair. (at any
>> level up to ISEF)

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