The Speed of Light Measured with a Pulsed Laser
A laser is pulsed at 1 MHz, and the laser light pulses are bounced off of a mirror and then detected by a fast detector. The time between the sending and recieving pulses is used to time the transit of light. The answer is 2.99792458×1010 cm/s, what is the question?
Important Information Concerning the Speed of Light Experiment
For this experiment only, everyone will do the same experiment during the same week, and groups can include up to 4 students.
You will need to write all your reports following the posted lab practice and report writing procedure: Recording data and writing reports.
- Experiment instructions
- "A tabletop experiment for the direct measurement of the speed of light," Aoki, K., and Mitsui, T., Am. J. Physi. 76, 812-815 (2008). This paperdescribes the apparatus that we adapted for our setup.
- Notes on data analysis and experimental uncertainty, by David Pengra and L. Thomas Dillman.
- An Excel spreadsheet that will calculate a fit line using full weighting of uncertainties. Also calculates reduced χ2: LSQFit.xls. From the Methods of Experimental Physics course at the University of Minnesota (written by Kurt Wick).
- Lab precautions, recording data and writing reports