[time-nuts] Anybody have suggestions for time related science fair projects?

ed breya eb at telight.com
Mon May 14 16:00:37 EDT 2018

I don't know what sort of scientific level this contest is geared for, 
but would guess that for middle-school level, extreme numbers-oriented 
analysis of esoteric, time-nutty things may not dazzle, but bore the 
participants, judges, and audience.

It may be best to relate to more hands-on, everyday experience and 
observations of "normal" people. I like the suggestions about GPS and 
stroboscopic and lasery stuff, where one can maybe appreciate how modern 
everyday things work (like GPS, or how it's possible to talk to or send 
a picture to anyone in the world on your cell phone, and how these could 
not happen without precise time), or something visual and physical.

Some of the props should be "ordinary" things, like the a cell phone or 
GPS receiver, for example. Lasers are always good as long as there's a 
direct visual component to the observation. Strobe type stuff is 
particularly easy, because it's doable with mechanical and acoustical 
props, and signal measurement times are in reach of common lab equipment 
like generators, scopes, and counters, and of course there's a big 
visual experience component.

Small power visible lasers are common nowadays, so easy to use. Strobe 
lights are fairly common too, but maybe not so much as the other items. 
You can build (or buy) quite a nice strobe light nowadays using 
high-powered LEDs - the kind used for replacing incandescent and other 
illumination. This is quite easy and much safer than dealing with flash 
tubes, and is much more versatile. In fact, maybe this could even be a 
science fair project. The time element is in the stroboscopic effects 
and ability to slow or freeze apparent motion - almost everyone has 
observed this and can relate.


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