Justin Lee, an 17-year-old Stevenson High School student from Buffalo Grove, has been conducting experiments since middle school to answer the age-old question: "Why does X result in Y?"
He has worked to answer such questions as what exactly happens to the bouncing motion when the uniform temperature of a tennis ball is increased or decreased; the true accuracy of weather reports; if a photograph is equally sharp in all areas; if a "natural light bulb" is really natural light.
For example, he hypothesized that increasing the temperature of a tennis ball would make it bounce higher. He placed tennis balls in freezers, refrigerators and boiling water to derive data, which supported his hypothesis.
Justin turned the results of his experiments into a research book on his hypotheses, observations and evaluations pertaining to physics, meteorology and electricity.
"Anyone can research, learn and discover if they put their minds to it," Justin said. "It's up to us to extend this enjoyment to anyone who wants to experience it."
The in-depth analysis, "Real-Time Science: One Student's Journey in Research," is available at Amazon for $9.99 for the electronic version and $17 for the paperback version.
"Justin Lee has a very bright future," said Samuel Armato, a physics professor at the University of Chicago, who has worked with Justin on several experimental medical physics projects. Some of these projects are listed on Justin's blog at HTTPS://justinleescienceresearch.wordpress.com.
Justin has already received an award from the Yale Science and Engineering Association, first place at the Northwestern University High School Project Showcase, and regional finalist honors in the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.
Justin, who loves science, fencing and playing the violin, said he wants "to apply what I've previously learned in these experiments to develop algorithms for physics and biomedical exploration."