Frequency is a measurement that is used by any type of electromagnetic wave. Visible light itself is an electromagnetic wave, and at low frequencies can form waves known as microwaves. At this point, it is a type of radiation. Radiation falls very low on the frequency scale, with microwaves clocking at around 1010 Hz. It is invisible to the human eye, but can cook food and harm living things through extended exposure. Light travels at a very fast speed, and (according to Wikipedia) travels at 3.00×108 m/s. That is very fast.
We can measure the microwaves emitted by the oven to find out the speed of light. This is what our experiment is based with. The experiment goes like this, we are going to use a solo microwave oven that has the spinning plate in the microwave removed. With the microwave rotating plate removed the experiment can now have a particular amount of heat in certain places that the microwave lets out to warm up food based nutrition. Now we grab 3-6 eggs that we must crack open and remove the yoke leaving only egg whites. The egg whites are set on a plate and put in the microwave. After some time cooking, we’ll begin to notice what sciencebuddy.com calls “hot spots.
” Basically, the goal we are going for is to have the egg whites partially cooked with fully cooked spots in other places. These fully cooked parts are the “hot spots.” Next, we measure the distance between these hot spots. We check the wavelength of the microwave, and if we measured correctly, the distance between the hot spots should equal one half of the wavelength of the microwave. Using this, we can calculate the speed of light using the wavelength, the frequency (gotten from the oven’s label) and use those to calculate the speed of the oven, which should equal the speed of light.
The reason this works is that the removal of the spinning plate in the microwave makes the heat uneven, causing the hot spots. The microwaves bounce off the sides of the oven, and in particular patterns make the hot spots in the egg whites. Sciencebuddies.com states that scientists call this action “interference.” As the wave crests interact, they combine into an even higher crest, while wave troughs combine to make even lower troughs. When troughs and crests interact, they cancel out, causing the interference. This is why some areas of the egg whites aren’t cooked while others are.