On this episode of O Wow Moments, we have a lively debate between two of my lab assistants over who is faster. Normally, we might settle it in a foot race, but I’d rather do something that doesn’t result in them trying to run as fast as possible through a crowded Children’s Museum of Houston.
So, instead, we took a more scientific approach and decided to test their reaction time, or how fast their brain can receive input, process it, and react to it. And we can use gravity to help!
To calculate your reaction time, we have to use a little physics equation to help: d=½gt2
“d” is the distance the meter stick traveled, “g” is acceleration due to gravity (9.8m/s2) and “t” is time. Now, because we are solving for time and the distance is measured in centimeters instead of meters, we have do to a little manipulation of our equation. So, the actual steps are:
Take the average distance the ruler traveled in centimeters.
Multiply it by 490 (you get this by taking 1/2 of 9.8, then multiplying by 100 to convert it to centimeters)
Then take the square root of that number (because time is squared in the equation)