Gheorghe Curelet-Balan Blog

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Then a volunteer was needed to measure with the ruler the distance between the middle of each of "exploded" parts of the chocolate bar. Among numerous volunteering offers Damian picked this boy, probably because he just finished his coloring activities :)

The distance turned out to be 12.5cm. We were told that this is the wavelength of the electromagnetic waves generated by the microwave oven's magnetron.

Now mathematics skills were needed. Damian read on the back of the oven the frequency of the electromagnetic waves it generates: 2450MHz per second. By multiplying it with 12.5cm (the wavelength) he obtained the approximate value for the speed of microwave electromagnetic waves: 306250 Km per second. Considering the tools used in this determination the audience agreed that this result was a good enough approximation for the speed of light that is an electromagnetic wave.

After this short animated introduction, Damian explained his goal to show us just a glimpse at the Einstein's world. How the world where things move at very high speed, looks like.

First he started to get us the feeling of how fast is fast? How the highest speed of a man-made ship, compares with the speed of light? Voyager 1, the most distant from Earth spacecraft, travels on an interstellar mission, at a speed of 17.2 Km/s (3.6 AU per year).


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