Title and Abstract




The title of this project is Measuring the Speed of 'Light' with a Microwave Oven.

In his book published in 1920, Albert Einstein highlighted that the laws of physics remains constant for all non-accelerating observers and that the speed of light in a vacuum is independent of the motion of all observers. (A. Einstein, 1920) This was the theory of special relativity. It introduced a new era for all of physics and proposed new concepts of how space and time work. (space.com, 2017) In special relativity, an observer is referred to as a frame of reference in which a set of objects or events are being measured. (A. Einstein, 1920)


The speed of light is a crucial concept in science. For example, in astronomy, the speed of light is used to measure distance in light years. One light-year is the distance light travels in one year, and to know that, the speed of light must be known first. Besides, the speed of light can be used in quantum mechanical calculations to determine the behaviour of electrons in an atom, which helps scientists understand things they cannot even see with the naked eye. These are just some of the ways that knowledge of the speed of light has impacted scientific research from the vast cosmos to the tiniest particles.

The objective of this project is to measure the speed of light using the hot spots created by the interference of microwaves in a microwave oven using different foods. This is to show others that they can also understand the complex topic of light first conveyed by Albert Einstein right in their homes using simple apparatus.

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