David Berardo posted on Twitter a video of a physics experiment that calculates the speed of light using just a microwave and a piece of chocolate
Sometimes genius is hidden in little things. Or rather: true geniuses are those who manage to formulate or explain very complex theories using everyday objects. Like a chocolate bar, for example. This is the case of David Berardo, an Italian-Canadian boy who has suddenly become very popular on Twitter. The reason? He published a video on his social profile in which he demonstrates that it is possible to measure the speed of light using a simple piece of chocolate! This is a physics experiment that (most likely) was first carried out in 2004 during a meeting of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). Despite its ‘uniqueness’, this experiment had never managed to become popular outside the circle of teachers and physics enthusiasts. At least until now!
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The speed of light and the chocolate: the experiment
In this video, David Berardo uses a microwave oven and a chocolate bar to measure the speed of light. The experiment is based on the scientific assumption that the speed of light is equal to the wavelength (λ) multiplied by the frequency (f) of an electromagnetic wave. To demonstrate this, David removes the turntable of his microwave, inserts the chocolate bar and runs the oven for 20 seconds. Without the turntable, the microwave’s standing wave heats only a few points on the bar. After 20 seconds, the bar is removed from the oven, the distance between the melted areas is measured and the recorded value is doubled to obtain the wavelength. Now simply multiply the wavelength by the microwave frequency and you’re done: the value is equal to the speed of light! This test can be easily replicated at home and is 98% accurate – the hardest thing is to resist the smell of melted chocolate!