Fading Dot Experiment

Aim:

The aim of this kid’s science fair project is to prove that there is a tiny jittering movement for our eyeballs with the help of the fading dot experiment.

Materials required:

1.      A sheet of pink paper.

2.      A sheet of blue paper.

3.      A sheet of wax paper in order to cover the pink paper.

4.      A pair of scissors and glue.

Procedure:

1.      Using scissors cut a piece out of the blue paper sheet, round in shape with 1-inch diameter.

2.      Paste this circular piece on the pink sheet using glue.

3.      Cover the pink sheet with the waxed paper and look at the dot through the waxed paper.

4.      Raise the waxed paper gradually while keeping your eyes fixed on the dot. Soon the edge of the dot becomes blurred and appears to mix with the field of pink.

5.      Now set your sight on a dot next to the blue dot. The blue dot will soon disappear.

Scientific explanation:

This is because your eyes are constantly making tiny jittery movements involuntarily (you cannot stop it). The movement results in the eye capturing new images and sending the same to the brain. The same happens here as our eyes make the twitchy movements and the colour change at the edge of the dot is so slow that the eyes can’t make out the difference between a point on the dot and a neighbouring point. Thus when your eyes get no new information, the blue dot vanishes. But if there is a border circling the blue dot, the eyes can easily make it out and you will continue to see it.