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

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9
votes
5answers
3k views

What methods can astronomers use to find a black hole?

How can astronomers say, we know there are black holes at the centre of each galaxy? What methods of indirect detection are there to know where and how big a black hole is?
8
votes
3answers
779 views

How much effect does the Bernoulli effect have on lift?

I understand that the Bernoulli effect is a flawed explanation for the cause of lift, and does not cause much at all, but how much? Is there any experimental data on the force caused by the ...
8
votes
1answer
234 views

What makes us think we can actually detect gravitational waves?

This refers to the discussion about gravitational waves for the YouTube video LIGO Gravitational Wave Observatory. I have two questions: When the gravitational wave passes through the space where ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What experimental proof has been found of Einstein's theory?

As a casual science reader, I've always found the implications of relativity (inconsistent clocks after near-light-speed travel and various space-time paradoxes) to be confusing and magical-sounding. ...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

Where can I get the most accurate measurements of parton distribution functions?

Where would I look to get the most accurate experimental values of parton distribution functions for the proton? I know these functions aren't measured directly, but I'd basically like to find a fit ...
3
votes
2answers
310 views

What is the highest accuracy of measuring time differences achievable today?

I was wondering if it would be possible to shorten the distance between detectors when measuring the speed of neutrinos to, say, 7m rather than the current ~700km? In this way the distance traveled ...
2
votes
2answers
383 views

Gravitational waves detection, any news? [duplicate]

Is the detection of gravitational waves a reality with nowadays technology? Are there recent news?
24
votes
1answer
682 views

Status of experimental searches for tachyons?

Now that the dust has settled on the 2011 superluminal neutrino debacle at OPERA, I'm interested in understanding the current status of experimental searches for neutrinos. Although the OPERA claim ...
11
votes
8answers
1k views

What is the name of the principle saying it is meaningless to talk/ask questions that can not be measured/tested?

Watching quantum mechanics lectures and it was mentioned that it is pointless/meaningless to try to talk/question things that can not be tested/measured. Is this a principle? And if so what is it's ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the world's biggest Schrodinger cat?

How big is it by a truly quantum measurement? I am thinking of comparing Science magazines "Breakthrough of the Year" (BYOT) with the Zeilinger buckyball. The BYOT is a piezoelectric mechanical ...
15
votes
5answers
5k views

Which experiments prove atomic theory?

Which experiments prove atomic theory? Sub-atomic theories: atoms have: nuclei; electrons; protons; and neutrons. That the number of electrons atoms have determines their relationship with other ...
5
votes
4answers
625 views

Final theory in Physics: a mathematical existence proof?

Some time ago, I read something like this about the issue of "a final theory" in Physics: "Concerning the physical laws, we have several positions as scientists There are no fundamental physical ...
19
votes
3answers
932 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
720 views

Use of Monte-Carlo simulation in High-energy Physics

I've been doing some research into the analysis used in particle physics when determining the significance of a finding (e.g. the recent Higgs candidate was announced as a boson in the 125-126 ...
11
votes
4answers
491 views

How do we know that the nucleus isn't a quark-gluon plasma?

The standard picture of the nucleus of atom is that is several distinct nucleons, which themselves are composed of quarks. However, it seems to me like a much simpler picture is that the nucleus is ...
9
votes
3answers
442 views

Can the Kramers–Kronig relation be used to correct transfer function measurements?

In experimental physics, we often make measurements of linear transfer functions; these are complex-valued functions of frequency. If the underlying system is causal, then the transfer function must ...
8
votes
2answers
382 views

How do we measure meson decay constants?

I'm trying to understand how people actually measure decay constants that are discussed in meson decays. As a concrete example lets consider the pion decay constant. The amplitude for $\pi ^-$ decay ...
4
votes
2answers
611 views

Is there a different behavior between proton and antiproton beams at the Tevatron?

This question has its origin to the reference on the Aegis experiment at CERN where they aim to produce super cooled antihydrogen and detect whether its reaction to gravity is negative. It set me ...
4
votes
1answer
284 views

How to count quarks using Deep Inelastic Scattering?

The Wikipedia article on deep inelastic scattering suggests that the experiment shows baryons have three point of deflections (corresponding to three quarks) and mesons have two points of deflection. ...
9
votes
4answers
380 views

Can all quantum superpositions be realized experimentally?

When textbooks in QM give example of finite dimensional Hilbert spaces they give examples of photon polarizations or of 2-states systems and sometimes they mention how one can achieve superposition in ...
5
votes
2answers
794 views

What is meant by “combinatorial background” in experimental high energy physics

My guess is that they find a certain tracks coming from a certain source by "combintaorially" selecting all track pairs and finding their invariant mass. If this is true, of which I am not sure, how ...
4
votes
1answer
160 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
459 views

Has $E=mc^2$ been experimentally verified for macroscopic objects with potential energy?

In relation to this question: What is potential energy truly?, I'm wondering if $E=mc^2$ has been experimentally verified to hold true for macroscopic objects with increased potential energy? I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
278 views

Is it possible to use “negative sound waves” to “cancel out” a sound to create silence?

I saw youtube videos that claimed to do this, although I'm quite certain the videos just excluded sound and lied. However, I am wondering if the physics of this is actually possible - to create a ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Active gravitational mass of the electron

In PSE here electrons are added to a sphere and gravitational modifications are expected. My question is: Is there any experiment that show that a negatively charged object is source of a stronger ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Which error propagation equation to use for a function of 2 variables?

So I have been taught two formulas for error propagation: For $Z=A+B$, $\sigma_Z=\sqrt{(\sigma_A^2+\sigma_B^2)}$ and for Z=AB or Z=A/B ...
1
vote
1answer
212 views

Exploiting the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as a means to communicate

It seems as though I've come across a rather unusual conclusion that could either simply be a misinterpretation or a contradictory discovery. I seem to have found a way to utilize the Heisenberg ...
1
vote
1answer
667 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
140 views

If a tree falls in the forest [closed]

The question of whether or not a tree that falls in the forest makes a sound - if there is nothing or no one around to hear it - comes up frequently at my house. So, my question is: is there any way ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Did the researchers at Fermilab find a fifth force?

Please consider the publication Invariant Mass Distribution of Jet Pairs Produced in Association with a W boson in $p\bar{p}$ Collisions at $\sqrt{s} = 1.96$ TeV by the CDF-Collaboration, ...
7
votes
2answers
530 views

What experiments compete with BICEP 2, and when are their results expected?

The recent results of the BICEP 2 experiment published on March 17th 2014, has generated a lot of media attention, with the general consensus being that "this is a major discovery" perhaps leading to ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Multiple measurements of the same quantity - combining uncertainties

I have a number of measurements of the same quantity (in this case, the speed of sound in a material). Each of these measurements has their own uncertainty. $$ v_{1} \pm \Delta v_{1} $$ $$ v_{2} \pm ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

How was Be-8's Half-Life of 7E-17 Second Determined?

Radionuclides occur with half-lives in a vast range of over 37 magnitudes as listed in this site. In question 7584, Lubos Motl explained how Gyr half-lives were determined. This method doesn't appear ...
4
votes
2answers
674 views

How Can We Measure The Mass Of Particle?

As we know, the mass of well known particles are below. $m_{n}\approx0.0000000000000000000000000016749286[kg]$ $m_{p}\approx0.0000000000000000000000000016726231[kg]$ ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

How do we perform transverse measurements in a two level system?

In quantum mechanics any two level system can be mapped onto effective spin variables. If the system is defined by two energy levels, $|E_1\rangle$ and $|E_2\rangle$, the Hamiltonian is $$ H = ...
3
votes
2answers
969 views

Conical Pendulum — Can it rotate at 90 degrees?

I have a simple question, can you spin a conical pendulum fast enough so that it rotates at 90 degrees? The equation is $\tan(\theta)=v^2/rg$ , but at 90 degrees, $\tan(\theta)=\infty$ ... so what ...
2
votes
2answers
519 views

Beryllium Vacuum Sphere Boat/Aircraft

Is it possible to make a solid rigid evacuated "balloon" out of Beryllium or other elements or alloys? The critical buckling pressure at which an evacuated sphere is given as $$ ...
2
votes
0answers
690 views

How would you go about finding the natural frequencies (resonance frequency) [closed]

How would you go about finding the natural frequencies of solid materials like wood (e.g., teak, pine), stone (e.g., marble, granite) liquid, etc?
2
votes
1answer
192 views

Testing General Relativity

Ever since Einstein published his GR theory in 1916, there have been numerous experimental tests to confirm its correctness--and has passed with flying colors. NASA and Stanford have just announced ...
2
votes
7answers
448 views

Can astronomers directly detect black holes?

Are there any methods of direct detection for black holes? I'm not referring to gravitational lensing, or measuring the orbits of a star in a binary pair. Is there any way of directly 'seeing' them? ...
1
vote
1answer
6k views

Negative and positive energy and Hawking [closed]

I don't have any physics background (except the material we did in high school-long time ago). I was watching a documentary with Stephen Hawking about whether God created the Universe and I could not ...
0
votes
1answer
140 views

How to detect gravitational waves?

Gravitational waves just have a little interaction with other particles. How can we detect such little influence on mass?
0
votes
1answer
840 views

measuring electromagnetic induction

There is a famous law which says that a potential difference is produced across a conductor when it is exposed to a varying MF. But, how do you measure it to prove? It is quite practical. ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Why the pressure of atmosphere doesn't crush you when you e.g. walk outside?

Why the pressure of atmosphere doesn't crush you when you e.g. walk outside? I mean the density of air is $1.26 kg/m^3$, so with $100 km$ above us, it exerts much pressure on you when you walk ...
43
votes
7answers
7k views

What technology can result from such expensive experiment as undertaken in CERN?

I wonder what technology can be obtained from such very expensive experiments/institutes as e.g. undertaken in CERN? I understand that e.g. the discovery of the Higgs Boson confirms our understanding ...
15
votes
3answers
738 views

Accidental, unplanned breakthroughs in physics [closed]

There is possibly some idioms or saying like this, ``If you try too hard for something, you will never get it. If you do not aim for something, it may fall on you accidentally, not as you originally ...
34
votes
4answers
2k views

What is needed to claim the discovery of the Higgs boson?

As I understand the Higg's boson can be discovered by the LHC because the collisions are done at an energy that is high enough to produce it and because the luminosity will be high enough also. But ...
13
votes
4answers
789 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 ...
29
votes
4answers
4k views

Has gravity ever been experimentally measured between two atoms?

Has there been any experiments, or are there any references, demonstrating gravity between atoms? If so, what are the key experiments/papers? Or if not, what is the smallest thing that has actually ...
25
votes
1answer
671 views

Best current bounds on nonconservation of momentum?

It's not straightforward to test conservation of momentum experimentally, and many experiments that seem like tests really aren't. For example, in a Newtonian system of identical particles that ...