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Measure the Speed of Light

One of the triumphs of Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was the discovery of a cosmological speed limit, the speed of light ( c ). Objects with mass can never reach the speed of light, and even massless objects cannot exceed it. This makes traveling to other star systems incredibly time consuming, and it means that signals can take a very long time to travel far distances.

This speed limit affects the research of scientists like Dr. Sofia Sheikh, who combs the sky searching for signals that have potentially been emitted by intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations!

Using this activity guide from NASA, you can measure the speed of light in your very own kitchen using a microwave oven and a grown up's help.

Download PDF • 1.20MB


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