2
votes
4answers
190 views

What's the difference between $10\%$ of $10\text{ cm}$ and $1\text{ cm}$?

I overhead a physics professor at my university on the phone: I interviewed that student you sent me, but he didn't know the difference between increasing the length of a $10\text{ cm}$ rod by ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Measuring a fluctuating quantity: Instrument error vs. uncertainty, or both?

Say I am measuring a quantity $x$ in physical system whose true value is approximately sinusoidal in time. I have an instrument to sample this quantity, for which the manufacturer gives an accuracy ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

need data-point: count rate of APD (avalanche photo-diode) for specific aperture and stellar magnitude

I hope lab / experimental physics is fair game for this web-site. If not, sorry! I'm designing a sensor system to perform specialized [astronomy and space-sciences] experiments, and need a "reality ...
2
votes
5answers
70 views

Addition according to significant digits

I have been studying about significant digits and addition rules and I can't quite digest the rules of addition completely. It states that in the answer number of decimal places will be equal to the ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Weighted average whenever a variance is 0? [closed]

So I have data for the number of times a certain event happens. Each column is a different event and each row is one trial. A sample of data would look like \begin{bmatrix} 1& 4& 7& ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

How do you measure proton's spin?

I've probably read it somewhere in Sakurai but I cannot recall it at the moment. So how does one really measure the proton's spin? I mean the proton's spin and not its constituents. Do you measure ...
-1
votes
1answer
126 views

Measure mass difference of an object without a scale

For a project i need to separate items based on their mass in real time. I like to explore measuring weight of an object (round metal ball) by taking photographs (several) during free fall and ...
8
votes
4answers
377 views

Doesn't the use of a thermometer alter the temperature of the system?

If I place a mercury thermometer in hot water, heat energy will transfer from the water to the mercury inside the thermometer. Will this continue until thermal equilibrium is reached and thus the ...
12
votes
2answers
126 views

Is there a fundamental limit to the temporal resolution of signals from space?

In Earth-based experiments, we can measure phenomenon very rapidly in an experiment given appropriate equipment. Clearly if something takes a long exposure to see (due to a weak signal), then the ...
4
votes
1answer
138 views

Need to weigh a sack of kittens

Hypothetical brain teaser here, no real kittens involved! - For some bizarre reason I have a sack of kittens, I need to find the total weight of the kittens and the sack but I'm only allowed to use ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Radius of curvature of lens: Newtons Ring method vs spherometer

I have to do an experiment to find out the radius of curvature of a lens using the Newtons ring method given that you know the wavelength of the monochromatic light used in the experiment. What the ...
14
votes
1answer
197 views

GHz rate single photon counting

The fluorescent lifetimes of molecules used in biological applications tend to be in the sub-ns to a few ns timescale (let's say 0.8-4). The most direct methods to measure lifetimes typically involve ...
13
votes
4answers
689 views

Can we measure an electromagnetic field?

As far as I can check, the Aharonov-Bohm effect is not -- contrary to what is claimed in the historical paper -- a demonstration that the vector potential $A$ has an intrinsic existence in quantum ...
9
votes
3answers
668 views

How hot is the water in the pot?

Question: How hot is the water in the pot? More precisely speaking, how can I get a temperature of the water as a function of time a priori? Background & My attempt: Recently I started spend ...
1
vote
1answer
976 views

Uncertainty in Acceleration given the uncertainty in position

I had a motion detector record the position of a dynamics cart and automatically plot Position vs Time and Velocity vs Time plots in Logger Pro on the computer. If the instrument uncertainty in ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

Experimental perspective in understanding the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

I need to confirm whether or not I understand Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. So the crucial thing is that you need an "ensemble" of measurements: $$\delta x \delta p \ge \frac{\hbar}{2}.$$ If I ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Is this the correct way to I combine multiple interdependant pressure readings?

I want to measure the density in different layers of a suspension. To do this I want to place pressure sensors at different heights. Let's assume that the sensors are not by orders of magnitude more ...
1
vote
1answer
355 views

Photometer: measured Irradiance L converted to photon rate

I am conducting an experiment in which the power meter reading of $410\,nm$ narrow bandpass stimulus is noted to be 30 $\frac{\mu W}{cm^2}$ at a distance of 1 inch away from the light source. I wish ...
5
votes
3answers
302 views

experimental technique for measuring temperature of an ant

I am taking a course on thermodynamics. I have a question from my text(halliday & resnick,physics-1). They asked me to measure temperature of an ant or an insect or a small body,like a small ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

Basic question about probability and measurements

Say I have a Galton box, i.e. a ball dropping on a row of solid bodies. Now I want to calculate the probability distribution of the movement of the ball based on the properties of the body (case A). ...
7
votes
1answer
372 views

Weinberg angle measurement methods

I was reading up on the history of $W/Z$ bosons today and I got a little puzzled. I always assumed that people measured $M_Z$ and $M_W$ and then derived the Weinberg angle. But it appears that they ...
2
votes
0answers
211 views

How do I do error calculus right using gnuplot as an example?

Given is a set of measurements with their respective errors for example an energy spectrum. In gnuplot one is to fit a function $ f(x;\{p_i\})$ depending on a variable $x$ and on fit parameters $p_i$. ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

Good algorithm for in-experiment 1-D optimization?

I'm running an experiment -- for the question, it doesn't matter which one, but I'm measuring an optical intensity $I$ as a function of two parameters: reflection angle $\theta$ and wavelength ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Are a measured object always part of the theory?

Is there a notion of measurement, which doesn't correspond to a yes/no question or with the idea of the comparison of two real world objects, which produces a real number? And does at least one of ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

How to properly read a measurement result if it is a number?

If the result of a measurement is i.e. $3.2 \pm 0.7$, what is 0.7? At which confidence level we know that the real result is inside of this interval?
16
votes
1answer
2k views

How did they measure the speed of light observing Jupiter's moons, centuries ago?

I am interested in the pratical method and I like to discover if it is cheap enough to be done as an experiment in a high school. Thank you.
3
votes
0answers
24 views

Review of Gas Chromatographs?

Could anyone suggest a recent review article or book on gas chromatography instrumentation? My interest is in the devices themselves, rather than using them for a particular application. This ...
1
vote
3answers
339 views

How can I measure the physical properties of a metallic string?

Metallic strings exist in different kinds but I would like to measure for a metallic string: the section/geometry along its length, to a precision of 1/100 mm its elongation when a tension is ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Measuring the speed of light and defining the metre - absolute or relative?

If the metre is now defined as the distance light travels in vacuum in 1⁄299,792,458th of a second and the speed of light is accepted to be ...
34
votes
13answers
8k views

Home experiments to derive the speed of light?

Are there any experiments I can do to derive the speed of light with only common household tools?