[FoRK] Irvine Ranch measurements (1929 – 1933)

James Tauber jtauber at jtauber.com
Mon Dec 14 03:32:35 PST 2020

I wrote an article a couple of years ago, when the kilogram was redefined,
and explained the measurement of the speed of light thus:

you may wonder if we can get more accurate measurements of *c* in the
future and refine this definition [of the speed of light as a certain
number of meters per second]? It’s vital to understand that *this question
no longer makes sense*. We’ve *permanently* set the meter to be such that
*c* is exactly this number of meters per second. Yes, it’s true we might be
able to measure the speed of light in a vacuum better in the future but
this will *not* change the numerical part of the constant *c*, it will just
tell us more accurately what a “meter” is.


On Mon, Dec 14, 2020 at 2:31 PM Ken Coar <Ken at coar.org> wrote:

> Cliff Still does a session in an auditorium demonstrating it with a laser
> and an oscilloscope.
> He also points out that you can't measure the speed of light; it's recorded
> as a universal constant, and is therefore axiomatic - and you can't measure
> those, only use them as references. Like calibrating equipment against it,
> which is what you're actually doing when you say you're "measuring" it.
> 😏
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