With some plywood, a laser pointer, and a dremel motor, I built an apparatus to recreate the original speed of light measurement from 1849

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2 thoughts on “With some plywood, a laser pointer, and a dremel motor, I built an apparatus to recreate the original speed of light measurement from 1849”

  1. I finished off this project in spring, and am really happy with how it turned out – I just discovered this subreddit and I’m hoping you all find it as interesting as I do! Before Fizeau, scientists had estimated the speed of light by very carefully timing astronomical events, but Fizeau was the first to measure the speed of light on earth’s surface, by reflecting a light back and forth over a few miles, and shining it through an EXTREMELY fast rotating wheel in order to time the light’s round trip. Light is really really fast, so you either need a long round-trip distance, or a really precise timer, or both… The fact that Fizeau was able to pull this off with the technology of the 1840s is pretty astonishing… I’m here cheating with a dremel, a laser-pointer, and a digital camera. He was using his eye to look into a lamp…

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