The BBC Science Club

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates, Talks and Presentations

I watched this the other night as it promised to be Brian Cox-free.  It was, and I was impressed with what went on: populist, but serious-ish.  I actually learned something – about Einstein's work on fridges.

The kitchen experiment to measure the speed of light using only a microwave oven and some cheese slices was worth the hour spend watching.  The experiment (you can do this at home) gave an outcome of 3.2 x 10 (to the power 8) m/s, which is only ~7% higher than the accepted speed.  Given that [i] the measurement of wavelength was done with a ruler, [ii] the hot spots on the cheese were rather diffuse, and [iii] the geek trusted with the ruler confessed to be a theoretician, this must have been well within experimental error – not that anyone bothered to mention such arcane niceties.  There was also much glossing over of important bits of the calculation, amidst mumblings about GigaHertz, such that it was all rather breathless and not completely satisfactory.  The cheese was also underdone.

I shall be watching the next episode when "extinction" is on the agenda.  Brian Cox perhaps ...

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates, Talks and Presentations


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