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Speed of Light Summary

SJK Incomplete Feedback Notice
Incomplete Feedback Notice
My feedback is incomplete on this page for two reasons. First, the value of the feedback to the students is low, given that the course is over. Second, I'm running out of time to finish grading!

Links to lab notebook and manual

Link to my lab notebook

Link to lab manual used

Purpose of the lab

In this lab we experimentally found the speed of light.

Summary of Data

We found the speed of light to be 29.6(6) cm/ns which compared to the accepted value of 30.0 cm/ns is only about 1.3% off and less than a single sdem away from our value. I'm pretty happy with this result, especially considering that we were measuring differences in time of less than single nanoseconds and still managed to be so accurate.

What I learned

I didn't have a computer with me in this lab to take notes on and it feels like a lot of the details of what happened in lab may have not been noted as well. My lab notes are usually not much to begin with other than just keeping track of data which we managed to do with Johnny Gonzalez's laptop, but I do generally write little notes when a problem comes up that help me remember everything later when I go back to do the full writeup. I'm not sure how much using a standard notebook to write in would have helped as for me just like any other notes I try and take in classes it has about a 95% chance of getting lost in the sea of notes and papers on my apartment floor. In the future if desktops aren't available I'll probably want to have my netbook with me or learn to organize notes on paper(which is unlikely to ever happen).SJK 16:42, 18 December 2009 (EST)
16:42, 18 December 2009 (EST)
you experienced frustration that is discussed a lot by open science advocates: the major difficulty we still have in capturing information about process easily. There's still no homerun solutions, but hopefully soon!

We also had a very hard time figuring out how to set things up. This had a lot to do with not reading the manuals for the equipment.