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O2-13. Visual Latency - Reaction Time

Purpose

To demonstrate visual latency.

Equipment

Meter stick.

Images

02-14

Description

A meter stick is held by one person directly above the hands of a second person, the victim. When the meter stick is dropped, the victim closes its hands to catch the meter stick. The reaction time T of the victim can be calculated as T=SQRT(2S/g), where g is the acceleration of gravity and S is the distance the meter stick has fallen. The experiment is then repeated with the room darkened. Typically the meter stick will fall considerably further, due to the longer reaction time in a darkened environment. The increased time, due to visual latency, can be determined by subtracting the reaction...

References

William Schnippert, Catch a Dollar Bill, TPT 14, 177, (1976).

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