Kitchen Science: We Used Peeps To Calculate The Speed Of Light

Apr 13, 2015
Originally published on April 20, 2015 4:20 pm

In the week after Easter, we had a lot of old Peeps lying around. No one seemed that interested in eating them, so we used them to measure the speed of light.

For centuries the speed of light was an enduring, infuriating mystery. Philosophers, physicists and astronomers from Galileo on down studied flickering lanterns, spinning mirrors and distant moons, trying to figure out just how fast light travels. But today you don't have to go through all that rigmarole. You can find the speed of light in the comfort of your own kitchen.

All you'll need is a microwave, a ruler and something that melts: chocolate, marshmallows or ... stale Peeps.

In Skunk Bear's latest video*, you can see just how it's done. Plus, you'll get to watch scenes from the history of the speed of light acted out by Peep puppets. Er, Peeppets?

*Innumerable Peeps were harmed in the making of this video.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.