2015 BFY II Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: (Practice makes perfect) Speed of Light measurement using the Foucault Method.
Abstract: 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.
Abstract Type: Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Dr. Elena Gregg
Oral Roberts University
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK 74171
Phone: 9184956253
and Co-Presenter(s)
Oral Roberts University, Engineering Department, undergraduate engineering physics students:
Wesley Odom, Leif Peterson, Joshua Williams

Presentation Documents

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster