top-rated free essay


By ades345 Oct 07, 2013 679 Words
Problem Statement

Which food gives the most accurate information about the speed of light?

I think that the eggs will give me a more accurate result.


1. First, place the (marshmallows, eggs and buttered bread) in the casserole dish, completely covering dish.

2. Next, put the dish of the (marshmallows eggs and buttered bread) in the microwave and cook on low heat.

3. Heat the food (marshmallows, eggs and buttered bread) until it begins to create the hotspots.

4. Remove the dish from the microwave and observe the hotspots spots.

5. Take the ruler and measure the distance between the hotspots.

Ruler (to measure distance)
Microwave oven (with no rotating dishes)

Trying to measure the speed of light using a microwave with different types of food. This experiment is related to physics. Things such as televisions, radios and microwaves oven use electromagnetic waves. With the hotspots we can measure the distance between them and then we will have to apply the equation C=FI and then multiply the frequency of the microwave. Then I will compare my results to the one published which is 299,792,458 m/s. Light is a form of energy like sound and heat so it relate to physics.Conclusion:

Scientists had come out with the great and delicious idea of measuring speed light using a microwave oven; but I wanted to know if such thing could be possible. Speed light can be measure in such commons things as a microwave oven, a television, a radio and all the things that use electromagnetic waves, although the wavelength might vary. My hypothesis was that the eggs will have give a more accurate result to the speed light number published which is 299’792’458 m/s; I was wrong, according to my result the buttered bread is the best food to measure speed light, using a microwave oven. Through this experiment I found the speed light by measuring the hotspots of the food and multiplying it to the frequency of the microwave oven to get the wavelength. Applying the formula for speed light which is C=FI. Maybe if I had used a better microwave I would have gotten more accurate results. My procedures were correct; I followed all the steps required. If I could do this experiment again I will give each food the same time and I will try to get a better microwave with more space on the inside.

Measuring the speed light with marshmallows.

Trials Hotspot distance Calculated Light Average Difference (Inches) Speed (m/s) 1. 6.7
2. 6.8 408000000m/s 6.7 -108207542 3. 6.5

Measuring the speed light with eggs.

Trials Hotspot distance Calculated Light Average Difference (Inches) Speed (m/s) 1. 2.7
2. 2.6 156000000m/s 2.7 143792458 3. 2.8

Measuring speed light with buttered bread.

Trials Hotspot distance Calculated Light Average Difference (Inches) Speed (m/s)
2. 4.6 274320000m/s 4.5 25472458 3. 4.8


Speed of light (m/s) C=IF Frequency in cycles per second

Wavelength in meters (m)

The frequency will be the frequency of the microwave oven and in this case is .

Conversion factors:
1 inch = 2.54 cm
1 mile = 5,280 feet = 63,360 inches
1 meter=100 cm

Published value for light speed is 299,792,458 m/s = 186,000 miles/second = 671,000,000 mph

Wavelength of the marshmallows:
We’ll multiply 6.7 by two to get the actual length of the wave. 2 * 6.7 inch= 13.4inch*2.54cm/inch= 34.036 cm
Now we convert centimeters to meters: 0.34036 m
Then you have to multiply 0.34036m times the frequency of the microwave 0.34036m* 1200000000 Hz =408000000m/s

Wavelength of the eggs:
We’ll multiply 2.7 by two to get the actual length of the wave. 2*2.7inch=5.4 inch* 2.54cm/inch=13.716
Now we convert centimeters to meters: 0. 13716
Then you have to multiply 0. 13716m times the frequency of the microwave 0. 13716m * 1200000000 Hz =156000000m/s

Wavelength of the buttered bread:
We’ll multiply 4.5 by two to get the actual length of the wave. 2*4.5inch=9 inch*2.54com/inch=22.86
Now we convert centimeters to meters:0. 2286
Then you have to multiply 0. 2286m times the frequency of the microwave 0. 2286m* 1200000000 Hz =274320000m/s


Independent variables: Is type of food, for instance the eggs, marshmallows and the buttered bread are the independent variables.

Dependent variables: Hotspot distance and the speed light calculations are the independent variables.

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