ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fast and Easy Science Fair Projects: Break the Beam

Updated on December 30, 2019

This is my 31st hub on Fast and Fair Science Fair Projects. This one is extremely easy and fun! I'm sure you'll enjoy reading and trying out this one too, especially kids! Have fun!


Exploring some characteristics of light

Purpose: The purpose is to understand how a light security system works.

Overview: Can you see a beam of light? You can certainly see a lit light bulb, the sun, a candle's flame, or any source of light. You can also see objects because light is shining on them. But, you are normally not able to see the light beam itself. the path of the beam through the air can, however, be seen by filling the air can, however, be seen by filling the air with tiny particles s the light will reflect off them.

In a dark room, lay a flashlight on a table and shake several facial tissues in the air. The light will reflect (bounce) off the tiny particles of tissue, allowing you to see the path of the light beam. Similarly, have you ever seen the rays of sunlight shine from behind breaks in clouds? Have you ever seen the light beams coming from the headlights you were riding in on a dark, foggy evening?

Because we can't actually see a beam of light, some home security systems use light to detect if someone walks through the room. A light source shines into an electronic device that detects the light. Everything is fine as long as light is shining on it. But when the light is interrupted when someone walks between the light source and the security device, it senses that the light has gone out, and it sounds an alarm. To make the light less detectable by anyone, a red filter is used to reduce the light reflected by any tiny particles that may be in the air.

Hypothesis: We can detect a person walking in another room using a light source and a mirror.

You need:

  • Lamp
  • Hand-held mirror
  • Modeling clay
  • Small piece of cardboard
  • Flashlight
  • Several facial tissues
  • Dark room
  • A friend
  • Table

Procedure: Set up a demonstration of how a home security system might work. Lay a hand mirror on its side on a piece of cardboard. With modeling clay, build a base around it so the mirror will stand up by itself, as shown.

Set the mirror on a table or bookshelf, and adjust it so that the light from the lamp is reflected into another room. It should be a room that you can make fairly dark. Stand against the wall and look out the door at the mirror. Have a friend adjust the mirror until you can see the lamp in it. Then you know the mirror is lined up. This demonstrates another characteristic about light, light travels in a straight line unless something interferes.

Go into the dark room and close the door until it is only open enough to let a slit of light in to shine against the wall opposite the door.

Watch the light on the wall as you have your friend walk around the room. Can you detect when your friend steps in the path of the light?

Results and Conclusion: Write down the results of your experiment. Come to a conclusion as to whether or not your hypothesis was correct.

Something more: You can tell the direction of a person walking through the room by adding a second mirror a few feet to either side of the first mirror, so that a second light spot shines on the wall. Then, if a person walks by, they will break one beam before the other. The beam that is broken first tells you in which direction the person is walking.

Thanks for reading this one! Hope you liked it! If you want more on Fast and Easy Science Fair Projects, you can try my other Hubs relating to the topic. Here are five of my Latest Hubs on Fast and Easy Science Fair Projects for you:

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)