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Parallax

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Author: Judee Shipman

The parallax is a mathematical construct that is used to measure the distances of faraway objects like the moon and stars. It is defined as the difference between the apparent locations of an object viewed from two different perspectives. For instance, if you view a TV set from five feet to the right of it, and someone else views the same TV set from five feet to the left of it, the parallax would be the angle of perception from directly in front of the TV set. In this project you will make your own calculations using parallax principles.

Problem:

What is the parallax principle?

Materials:

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).

Procedure:

  1. Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below).
  2. Address all of the terms and research questions mentioned here.
  3. Search and print out compelling images relevant to your topic.
  4. Construct and solve your own parallax problems.
  5. Carefully record all measurements and results.
  6. Analyze your data.
  7. Write a detailed report.
  8. Include graphics, charts and diagrams in your science fair display. 
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