Chocolate chip wave
Difficulty: 2 out of a possible 10 very easy!
1. Cut the cardboard to fit inside the microwave perfectly
2. Place the chocolate chips all over the cardboard
3. Place in the microwave for 20-30 seconds
4. Take out and measure the distance from the high areas and low areas
The chocolate chips should have melted in a wave like pattern showing the wavelength that the microwave produces. This should be around 6 cm.Explanation:
Chocolate chips are perfect for measuring the distance between melted spots. The heat does not spread as quickly through them because they are not uniform. This means the melted spots will be smaller and you will have more time to measure before they all start to melt.
We now know the frequency of the microwave and can presumably measure the length of the wave, but how are they related to the speed of light? Simple. Electromagnetic waves propagate through free space (like that in a microwave) at the speed of light. Therefore, their length is related directly to the speed of light by λ = c / f where λ is the wavelength, c is the speed of light, and f is the frequency of the microwave. Solving for the speed of light, c = λ * f.