On a sunny day, the occupants of Taipei 101 can look out of their window and tell the time without even looking at a clock. That’s because Taipei 101 is the world’s biggest sundial. When the architects designed the building, they decided to incorporate a time motif into various aspects of the building, and the sundial effect is one example of this motif.
Sundials have been around for centuries because they are accurate and easy to make. In today’s experiment you will make your own sundial and use it to tell the time.
What you will need: a styrofoam cup with lid, a watch, a marker, a pencil, tape, some pebbles and a compass.
Step 1: Put some pebbles in the bottom of the cup to stop it falling over. Take the pencil and make a hole in the side of the cup. Then make a hole in the lid and push the pencil through both holes so it protrudes from the top at 45 degrees. You’ve made the sundial, and now it’s time to put it to work.
Step 2: It goes without saying that your sundial won’t work very well unless it’s sunny, so wait for a sunny day when you are free during the daytime to do this part of the experiment. You should start the experiment in the morning.
Step 3: Using the compass, align the pencil in the sundial with north. Wait until exactly 9:00am and use the marker to record where the shadow falls on the lid. Go away and come back at 10:00am and make another mark on the lid. Continue every hour until 4:00pm.
Step 4: The following day, try to tell the time just by using the sundial. Compare the time from the sundial with the time on your watch. How accurate is it?
(John phillips, staff writer)
1. occupant n.
佔有人 (zhan4 you3 ren2)
2. architect n.
建築師 (jian4 zhu2 shi1)
3. accurate adj.
準確的 (zhun3 que4 de5)
4. align v.i./v.t.
對準 (dui4 zhun3)
5. shadow n.
影子 (ying3 zi5)
6. compare v.i./v.t.
比較 (bi3 jiao4)
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