Monday, April 20, 2015

Finding the Speed of Light with Peeps - Science Experiment

Yes, I know that this is different than the typical discussion on Dr. Z Reflects, but I just had to share this wonderful science experiment.  



This 5-minute video shares a wonderful demonstration of applied mathematics and science. Using a tray full of peeps, you can actually demonstrate how wavelengths move across a microwave. 

The experimenter (couldn't find his name in the credits) places a tray of marshmallow peeps into a microwave and turns it on for a couple of minutes. He pulls it out and then looks for the specific places where the peeps have really melted. These places are about 2.4 inches apart.  Based upon the assumption that the microwaves are melting the peeps in places where the wave actually travels through the peeps, it is possible to use these calculations to compute the speed of light.

I can see 10 year old students doing this and suddenly having a realization light going off in their heads by this demonstration.   This is a MUST WATCH video and MUST IMPLEMENT in your classroom.

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