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Hooked on Science - Paper Plate Optical Illusion

hooked science 300KENTUCKY (12/4/13) - We typically eat off of a paper plate, but have you ever considered using your paper plate for a science experiment?
 
INGREDIENTS
• Paper Plate
• Scissors
• Black Marker
 
INSTRUCTIONS
STEP 1: Using the black marker, draw the following illustration on the paper plate.
STEP 2: Using the scissors, cut along the black lines.
STEP 3: Hold one of the pieces above the other, lining up the two left edges, and observe.
STEP 4: Switch the pieces and observe.
 
EXPLANATION
The bottom piece looks longer when compared to the top piece. Although each piece is exactly the same size, your eyes compare the bottom arch of the top piece, which is shorter, to the top arch of the bottom piece, which is longer. This tricks your brain into believing the bottom piece is longer. The optic nerve sends signals from the eye to the brain, which then interprets what we see. 

Go to www.hookedonscience.org for more experiments that might get you and your family “Hooked on Science.”

Jason Lindsey
Hooked on Science

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