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Measuring the Speed of Light With Valentine's Day Chocolate 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the speed-of-the-sound-of-loneliness dept.
Cytotoxic writes "What to do with all of those leftover Valentine's Day chocolates? — a common problem for the Slashdot crowd. The folks over at Wired magazine have an answer for you in a nice article showing how to measure the speed of light with a microwave and some chocolate. A simple yet surprisingly accurate method that can be used to introduce the scientific method to children and others in need of a scientific education."

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Measuring the Speed of Light With Valentine's Day Chocolate

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  • Definition: "Leftover chocolate"

    See: Modern myths.

    There are only two places in the entire planet where there's a chance of finding "Leftover chocolate."

    1. Soviet Russia, where Left-over Chocolate (also known as Chocolate-flavoured Exlax) leaves YOU!
    2. CowboyNeals ... because he got his chocolate truffles off the set of American Pie [youtube.com].

    Aslo, the article is wrong:

    The demonstration works because microwave ovens produce standing waves -- waves that move "up" and "down" in place, instead of rolling forward like waves in the ocean.

    Ocean waves don't "move forward".

    The oven is designed to be just the right size to cause the microwaves to reflect off the walls so that the peaks and valleys line up perfectly, creating "hot spots" (actually, lines of heat).

    Disproved by direct observation. Go into any store and you'll see microwaves in various sizes. The perfect microwave doesn't have "hot spots".

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