2015 BFY II Abstract Detail Page
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||(Practice makes perfect) Speed of Light measurement using the Foucault Method.
||The speed of light was measured using a method developed by Leon Foucault in 1862. A laser is focused through a beam splitter onto a rotating mirror that directs the beam onto a fixed mirror which reflects it back toward the rotating mirror and through the beam splitter. By rotating the mirror at a known angular velocity in both the counter-clockwise and clockwise directions and measuring the displacement of the image produced by the reflected beam the speed of light is measured at 3.02 x 108 m/s--a value only 0.7% larger than the accepted value of 2.998 x 108 m/s.
Modifications of experimental setting show significant progress in the accuracy of the measurements. Initial attempt resulted in an error of ~32%, second iteration narrowed the error to ~5%, and the final iteration yielded results with an error of approximately 0.7%. Factors contributing to the accuracy improvements are discussed.
Dr. Elena Gregg
Oral Roberts University
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK 74171
Oral Roberts University, Engineering Department, undergraduate engineering physics students:
Wesley Odom, Leif Peterson, Joshua Williams
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