Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Science Riddle

We all know that the speed of light in a vacuum is 186,000 miles per second.  Which is incredibly fast, light could circumnavigate the glove 7 times in one second.  Light is fast but not infinitely fast, so when and how was the speed of light first arrived at?   Would you believe 1670?  Uranus wasn't even discovered then and telescopes hadn't advanced very far past Galileo's first crude scope.  It's 1670, no computers, spacecraft, or internet, how could you figure out how fast light travels?  Here's a hint from Ole Romer's original Notebook. 
The full wonderfully explained, illustrated story and the solution from Ethan Seigel at Starts with a Bang.  I've been reading his blog for over a year now and it's excellent if your interested in astronomy, the big bang or cosmology. 

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