An alternative speed of light measurement experiment for a senior laboratory

Parisi, Alfio V., Mottram, Ken, Kimlin, Michael G., Wilson, Meegan, & Wollstein, A. (1999) An alternative speed of light measurement experiment for a senior laboratory. Australian Science Teachers' Journal, 45(4), pp. 51-53.


A simple, time-of-flight experiment utilising readily available equipment is described for use in a senior school Physics laboratory. A modulated laser is employed with measurements, taken over a number of distances. Students obtain a conceptual understanding for the extremely high, but measurable speed of light. The technique of eliminating an unknown constant by making more than one measurement is also introduced. Additionally, students are introduced to the concepts of optics, measurement of very small time intervals, modulation of lasers, waveform generation, fast detectors and data processing.

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ID Code: 8234
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: optics, modulation of lasers, waveform generation, fast detectors
ISSN: 0045-0855
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1999 Australian Science Teachers Association
Deposited On: 22 Jun 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 16:44

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