spacer image
spacer image

Welcome! You're looking at an archived Snarkmarket entry. We've got a fresh look—and more new ideas every day—on the front page.

May 5, 2004

<< Get Up Out Ya' Chair | 2004 National Mag Award Finalists >>

Because Really, Who Has a Toothed Wheel These Days?

Back in the day, you needed some pretty serious gear to measure the speed of light:

[Fizeau] shone a light between the teeth of a rapidly rotating toothed wheel. A mirror reflected the beam back between the same gap between the teeth of the wheel.

There were over a hundred teeth in the wheel. The wheel rotated at hundreds of times a second — therefore thousandths of a second was easy to measure. Light was reflected from mirrors more than 5 miles apart. This also helped him making accurate measurements.

(That’s from, your one-stop shop for speed-of-light related inquiries.)

Nowadays it’s much easier: All you need is a microwave.

(Link via Boing Boing.)

Posted May 5, 2004 at 10:20 | Comments (0) | Permasnark
File under: Technosnark
spacer image
spacer image