Laser Speed of Light System

Product Code: AP-8586


The Laser Speed of Light System is a low cost, yet effective method of measuring the speed of light. While it does not duplicate the classic Foucault Method, its ease of use gives every student the opportunity to perform the experiment.

How It Works

A function generator is used to modulate the light from the laser at 3 MHz. This light is then reflected from a mirror and focused onto a light receiver. An oscilloscope is used to observe the modulated light, and the phase of the signal is noted as the baseline value for phase.

The mirror is moved back, increasing the distance that the light travels. Since it takes more time for the light to travel from the laser to the sensor, the phase of the signal on the oscilloscope increases. The phase at each successive mirror position is recorded and compared to the baseline value. The mirror is moved back several more times to get a reasonable number of data points. For each mirror position, the additional path length (d) is graphed versus the phase difference (t).

What’s Included?

Required Accessories:

Supporting Documents

Laser Speed of Light Apparatus

Diode Laser for Optics System Manual

Laser Alignment Bench Manual