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Physics Honors/AP 1 and 2

LAB: Use wavelengths and frequency to determine the speed of light

Course Materials are always under revision! Weblecture content may change anytime prior to two weeks before scheduled chat session for content.

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Physics Lab

Physics Lab: Measuring the Speed of Light

Goal: Use wavelengths and frequency to determine the speed of lights

Materials and Procedure

  1. Follow the instructions at Science Buddies to measure the speed of light in the comfort of your own kitchen.
  2. NOTE: Popular variations on the method above use miniature marshmallows or chocolate chips evenly spread out on a plate in place of the egg whites. You may find this more interesting and less wasteful.

Data Handling

  1. Record all measurements and present your data in tabular form.
  2. Record the frequency of your microwave in Hz.


  1. Describe your materials and procedure.
  2. Include your data, calculations, and any averaging you used.
  3. Compare your calculated value with the established value for the speed of light. What is your error?

Post your report to the Lab thread at the Moodle.