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Measuring the Speed of Light with a Microwave oven

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by

Allison P.

on 3 February 2016

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Transcript of Measuring the Speed of Light with a Microwave oven

Abstract
Did you know that you can measure the speed of light using a microwave oven, an egg white, and a ruler? Using all of these materials, you will be able to calculate just that. This project is important because many people don't put aside time to learn new things as much anymore, and this introduces a new topic to some. Also, this project helps to easily explain the topic of the speed of light.
If I microwave an egg white, I will find out how to find the speed of light using my results.
Hypothesis

Independent Variable:
the amount of time that I microwave the egg white.
Dependent Variable:
the distance inbetween the cooked egg white.
Controlled Variable:
the egg white and the microwave.

Variables
First, you take your eggs and separate the yolk from the egg white, as you will be only using the egg white. Then, using a microwave safe plate, you pour the egg white into the center of the plate, measuring at least 12cm in diameter. Afterwards, put the plate in the microwave and nuke it for 30 seconds, making sure that the egg white is not fully cooked. Then, take the plate out and measure the distance between the two cooked parts of the egg. (There should be an uncooked spot or two of egg white.) Then, double the distance between the two cooked parts of the egg to get the wavelength of the waves emitted by the microwave. Find how many Megahertz your microwave has, and multiply that number by a million. Then, multiply the frequency by the wavelength, and you will get the speed of light, or something close to it.
Procedure
What even is the speed of light? The speed of light is a fundamental physical constant that is the speed at which electromagnetic radiation multiplies in a vacuum, and I will be finding that using a microwave and egg whites. A microwave is a kitchen appliance that uses electromagnetic waves and frequency to heat up a food. In order to find the SOL, you must multiply the wavelengths and the frequencies together. In order to find the frequency, you have to find how many megahertz your microwave has. What are megahertz? Megahertz are units of measurement. One MHz represents one million cycles per second, and is often used in measuring clock speed.

Background Research
I found that my hypothesis was correct. I was able to calculate the speed of light using my results, but I did have to repeat the procedure a few times to find the correct answer. I would also be more attentive to measuring how much egg white I had poured onto the plates, as they didn't exactly meet the measurements that were specified in the instructions.
Conclusion
Table/Graph
-Science Buddies Staff. "Measuring the Speed of 'Light' with a Microwave Oven" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 31 Oct. 2015. Web. 25 Jan. 2016 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Phys_p056.shtml>
-"How To Calculate The Speed Of Light With Your Microwave." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2016.
-"Use Your Microwave to Measure the Speed of Light." Io9. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2016.
Bibliography
Microwave Oven
Plate (microwave safe)
Oven mitts
3-6 eggs
Ruler
Calculator
Materials
Can you Measure the Speed of Light with a Microwave Oven?
Equation
Frequency x Wavelength = Speed of Light
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