for questions about design, process, data, or analysis of experiments and observations.

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4answers
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Evaporation of black holes

What is the current scientific consensus about the evaporation of black holes? Is there any experimental evidence that support it? (I distinguish between Hawking radiation and black hole evaporation)
3
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0answers
19 views

How can I precisely measure the intensity of the Hydrogen Alpha (Balmer) line at low intensities?

I assume that I will need some kind of very precise filtering, but how is that accomplished? After that, photon counting at worst, but I am expecting millions of photons per second. The background is ...
3
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1answer
182 views

Determine water level difference in two ponds

I live near two ponds whose water levels appear to differ by a few feet. The ground is hard clay, so I don't think there's any underground water exchange between the ponds. The ponds are separated by ...
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0answers
24 views

How much harder an aluminum bat will hit a ball as compared to a wooden bat?

I was thinking like what's the major difference between using aluminum bat and wooden bat means how much harder will an aluminum bat will hit a ball as compared to wooden bat ?
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1answer
63 views

Decay channels of the Higgs Boson in Large Hadron Collider particle production

I attach a diagram of 4 of the (many) possible decay channels produced by the Higgs boson, and I have read that 57 % of the time, we find a bottom quark, antibottom quark pair resulting from this ...
415
votes
22answers
159k views

Cooling a cup of coffee with help of a spoon

During the breakfast with my colleagues, a question popped into my head: What is the fastest method to cool a cup of coffee, if your only available instrument is a spoon? A qualitative answer would ...
13
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2answers
4k views

How do we know that some radioactive materials have a half life of millions or even billions of years?

If a radioactive material takes a very long time to decay, how is its half life measured or calculated? Do we have to actually observe the radioactive material for a very long time to extrapolate its ...
2
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1answer
42 views

How many different experimental configurations does the Large Hadron Collider have?

I understand that the LHC can collide protons with protons, heavy ions with heavy ions, or protons with heavy ions, giving three main configurations. But, I'm wondering: is that the only property that ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Probability of Vacuum Fluctuations near Charges

A short, simple enough question, if you know about field theory, which unfortunately I don't. Are vacuum fluctuations more probable near a charge, for example an electron with negative charge? I ...
3
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1answer
124 views

Motion in a Paul trap: $2n^{\text{th}}$ harmonic with larger amplitude than $n$th harmonic

Using a Paul trap, we captured the motion of a light charged particle (based on a rotating potential applied by AC current). Our rotational frequency was 50 Hz, and so when used FFT on the data, we ...
2
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2answers
237 views

What is the essential difference between a resonance and a particle?

Let me start by explaining my particle physics background is very patchy, so this question may not be as coherent as I would like it to be. In general terms, what is the difference between a ...
1
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3answers
102 views

Theoretical uncertainty of a circuit's total resistance when made entirely of resistors

My question in short(ish) is: Will the fractional uncertainty of a circuit made entirely of resistors with equal fractional uncertainties be the same as the fractional uncertainty of those resistors. ...
3
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0answers
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Large Hadron Collider 2015 upgrade, what can it show us?

I realise that the initial answer to my question that may come to mind is, "we don't know yet, duh!!" But my question is hopefully not opinion based. To be specific, have we now a greater chance of ...
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0answers
27 views

the torsion balance of the Cavendish experiment

I need to perform the Cavendish experiment and build a torsion balance but I can't find metallic spheres with enought mass so I was thinking about using a pair of dumbbells instead. My question is if ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Signs of supersymmetry and thus dark matter at CERN

The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has just re-started after a two year pause and is now running at unprecedented levels of 6.5 TeV, with collisions that will release up to 13.5 TeV. With this increase ...
21
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3answers
967 views

Has the gravitational interaction of antimatter ever been examined experimentally?

I know that the gravitational interaction of antimatter is expected to be the same as normal matter. But my question is, has it ever been experimentally validated? I think it would not be a trivial ...
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1answer
104 views

What has been observed as the “Hawking radiation” emitted by a black hole analog?

I've noticed this paper which explains that they have observed the "Hawking radiation" emitted by a black hole analog. In which sense the Bose-Einstein condensate described by the paper can be ...
0
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1answer
200 views

About a recent experiment which claims reality doesn't exist until we measure it?

Reality doesn't exist until we measure it, Quantum Experiment confirms. Is this one more experiment which is the victim of how news generally hypes stuff like this? This is a section from the ...
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1answer
124 views

Resolution in a Fourier transform spectroscopy setup

I am a bachelor physics student and as an assignment we had to perform measurements on an FT spectroscopy setup. Context. Our setup consisted of a Michelson interferometer through which the light ...
3
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2answers
216 views

Fiber optics with broadband, incoherent light

I wonder if someone could help clarify waveguiding with broadband, incoherent light please. If we take a telecomms fiber, which is single-moded above ~1.4 μm and couple a laser beam in, we assume ...
2
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1answer
147 views

Problem on Einstein - de Haas experiment

I am a Physics student (4th year) and I'm trying to study the Einstein - de Haas effect in laboratory. That is what I got: a suspended Iron cylinder with about 5 cm height and a radius of 0.8 cm is ...
4
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2answers
358 views

Physical experiments - False positives

How is it made sure that something has been discovered, and not just noise? Is one discovery of something that is predicted considered to be enough (Higgs-particle)? What are the probabilities of a ...
0
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1answer
45 views

Michelson-Morley experiment

I have to do an experiment about light. I preferred to measure the speed of light by the experiment of Michelson and Morley. When you do the experiment, it will result in an interference pattern by ...
0
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1answer
38 views

Role of quark color with respect to exclusion principle

From Wikipedia's article on color charge: "Shortly after the existence of quarks was first proposed in 1964, Oscar W. Greenberg introduced the notion of color charge to explain how quarks could ...
4
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1answer
178 views

Experiments looking for monopoles

Background: (skip it if you know it) In the easiest formulation of classical electromagnetism magnetic monopoles do not exist. In fact, the Maxwell's equation $\nabla \cdot \vec{B}=0$ implies (using ...
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1answer
61 views

Quark-gluon plasma: status [closed]

Can we say that a QGP has been observed or is there only suggestive evidence? Is the idea that string theory, through the AdS/CFT correspondence, could help to understand this new state of matter ...
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0answers
34 views

Are Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) photons entangled?

Suppose we'd like to know whether two cosmic microwave background photons emitted from different parts of the sky have any quantum correlation with each other. We could measure polarization of two ...
2
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1answer
372 views

Is there a significant possibility of the LHC missing “exotic” particles or events?

In his popsci book, "Particle at the end of the universe", Sean Carroll says that the LHC, due to it's sheer information gathering capability, necessarily needs to completely discard most of the data ...
2
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1answer
95 views

With the LHC about to restart as max energy, are there absolutely no hints or tantalizing signs of Supersymmetry in previous data?

Over the last couple of years I've seen several articles talk about hints or bumps in the data that might point to Supersymmetry. An article in NewScientist from Summer 2012 discussed the discovery of ...
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3answers
279 views

What are the main differences between $p p$ and $p \bar p$ colliders

I know that it is somehow related to the parton distribution functions, allowing specific reactions with gluons instead of quarks and anti-quarks, but I would really appreciate more detailed answers ! ...
2
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1answer
25 views

What is the value (order of magnitude) of electric charge density of the atom and the nucleus?

The mass density of the nucleus is constant. But what is the electric charge density of the nucleus and the atom (any order of magnitude)?
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0answers
12 views

Reverse polarity vs falling in Millikans experiment

There are multiple methods of hot to perform Millikans oil drop experiment. One of them lets the drop rise through an electric field (and measures the velocity) then lets if fall (without an electric ...
2
votes
1answer
29 views

Effect of small changes in atmospheric pressure on open cylinder piston

OK, I'm not a physics student, but I played one for 2 semesters 35 years ago... now I'm a competitive shooter working a theory about why small changes in atmospheric conditions cause our hyper-tuned ...
148
votes
11answers
21k views

What experiment would disprove string theory?

I know that there's big controversy between two groups of physicists: those who support string theory (most of them, I think) and those who oppose it. One of the arguments of the second group is ...
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2answers
79 views

Have two identical quantum mechanical experiments ever been done?

Have two experiments ever been done such that the set up is identically the same, (when I say identically I mean down to the atomic level). Of course the experiment would have to be very simple. If it ...
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1answer
118 views

Understanding Millikan's oil-drop experiment

This is quoted from A.P. French's Newtonian Mechanicsabout Millikan's oil-drop experiment: The droplets randomly produced in a mist of oil vapor are of various sizes. The ones that Millikan found ...
0
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1answer
20 views

the different settling speed of two solid particles in fluid

In a container full of fluid A, which can be water or oil, I have two solid particles, both of which are of the same material. These two particles are of different size. One is bigger than the other ...
0
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1answer
22 views

Franck-Hertz experiment what transition takes place?

For the Franck-Hertz experiment there is a voltage drop at $4.9\rm\,V$. What transition does this represent in the mercury? Looking at the energy levels it seems to be from the ground to the 2nd ...
6
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0answers
241 views

Does this method of predicting the ratio of translational diffusion coefficients for a sphere and a sheet, work?

Imagine that I have a spherical particle of molecular weight $M$, volume $V$, and some experimentally observed center-of-mobility translational diffusion coefficient $D_{sphere}$ in water. I take ...
5
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1answer
508 views

Can Ohm's law break in metals?

I was rereading Purcell's Electricity and Magnetism as research for another question, and I found this passage: In metals Ohm's law is obeyed exceedingly accurately up to current densities far ...
0
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1answer
67 views

What physical properties can we measure most accurately?

As far as I am aware, frequency is the most accurate physical property we can currently measure. This has led us to very high standards of experimental verification of e.g QED predictions and the CMB ...
2
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2answers
139 views

Real World application of Topological Quantum Field Theory

What is a "killer-app" for the formalism of topological quantum field theory in "established real world physics"? To be more precise, I'm looking for an actual physical experiment, state of matter or ...
6
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1answer
142 views

Has anyone experimentally shown the quantized thermal hall conductivity in Quantum Hall systems?

For background: In a $D=2+1$ state with edge modes described by a chiral $( c_L \neq c_R )$ CFT there is a predicted thermal Hall conductance associated with the gravitational anomaly at the edge. ...
12
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1answer
400 views

What is the relationship between Faraday cage mesh size and attenuation of cell phone reception signals?

This is related to the question how can electromagnetic waves reach a cell phone in faraday cage?, where in the answer it was stated that the holes (=size of the mesh) would need to be smaller than ...
4
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6answers
4k views

How to guess the correct fitting function to some data?

Imagine we are plotting some date points $\left(x_i,f(x_i)\right)$ that we obtained experimentally, and that we want to know what $f(x)$ is. The way to do this is to use some software and try to fit ...
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1answer
32 views

Plane Mirror as the Screen in Young's experient

If I place a plane mirror instead of the screen in the Young's double slit experiment, what will I see? Will the bands appear on the mirror face?
9
votes
1answer
144 views

Current known *lower* bounds to the neutrino masses?

I started a little bit of Googling around the topic, and found very few information. There are mainly upper limits. I found lower limits only to the rest mass differences of the different neutrino ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Methods to stabilize and maintain extremely low humidity in a lab environment

My atomic physics lab is in a building that experiences huge swings in humidity levels during the year due to the monsoon season Our building provides temperature, but not humidity control. Using ...
0
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1answer
37 views

Experiment for finding resistivity

I was reading an experiment to measure the resistivity of a wire. I understand everything except for why the variable resistor is connected to the side of the positive terminal of the battery. Since ...