Speed of Light

The Speed of Light

The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation, and extends from ?-radiation at around 1023 Hz, through x-rays (ca 1019 Hz), ultraviolet light (ca 1015 Hz), visible light (ca 1014 Hz), infrared (ca 1013 Hz), and microwaves (ca 109 Hz), to radio waves (107 Hz). The different types of wave are all related by the equation:

velocity (v) = frequency (f) x wavelength (λ)

Thus if we know, or can measure, any two of these quantities, we can calculate the third. In this experiment we will measure the wavelength of microwaves in a microwave oven, and by looking at the specification printed on the back of the oven we will find out the frequency. With these two data we can calculate the speed of the microwaves, which is the speed of light.


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Experiments you can do at home

Welcome to Dr Hal's Backyard Science, experiments you can try at home. These are experiments that you can try in your garden or house with parental permission and supervision. Each of them comes with some health and safety instructions that an adult must read. The text is reproduced by kind permission of Education in Chemistry a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The Experiments:


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