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A new method to measure thermal diffusivity of a thin sample was developed using a light‐irradiated ac calorimetric technique. The experimental conditions and the fundamental equations for the measurement are discussed. In principle, this method can be applied no matter how thin a sample may be. This method was tested for samples of nickel, silicon, stainless steel, and alumina in the range from 50 to 300 μm in thickness. The measured thermal diffusivities coincide satisfactorily with the values reported for bulk materials. It is concluded that this method is useful in the measurement for thin materials with a variety of thermal diffusivities, and the sample mounting is easy in comparison with other methods.