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

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5
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2answers
970 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
188 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
2answers
495 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
581 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
2answers
91 views

How to identify a “measuring rod”, and how to compare separated “measuring rods” with each other?

The notion of "measuring rod" has appeared in PSE here and there, and outside PSE as well. As far as I understand (and as perhaps all who refer to this notion do agree on), important constituents of ...
1
vote
2answers
172 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
262 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
927 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
1answer
710 views

Terminal velocity of a steel ball in water [closed]

I am investigating on the terminal velocity of steel balls moving in water. I used the balls with different diameters, such as 3.17mm, 6.02mm, etc. And I used a full-filled 1L graduated cylinder. I ...
0
votes
3answers
255 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
10k views

Is there an equation to calculate water evaporation taking into account environmental variables? [closed]

Is there an equation to calculate rate of water evaporation with following variables: water volume, water flow/speed, ambient air temperature, dew point/humidity, chemical composition of water (e.g. ...
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, ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Best way to chill a cup of coffee with cold water and 5 minutes [duplicate]

Initial data 1 x 3/4 full cup of hot coffee / tea / your favorite morning beverage cold water 5 minutes Considering that it's starting to get hot outside, and we all want to drink reasonably cold ...
8
votes
1answer
216 views

How deep can a whirlpool descend?

My question is based around comparing the physics of a tornado against, what I imagine/assume to be the marine equivalent of a tornado, that is a whirlpool located either at sea, in a tidal region or ...
7
votes
1answer
261 views

Viewing computer screen through 3D glasses, why the asymmetry?

I have 3D glasses made up of plastic. First case: When I hold front side of the 3D glasses (by this I mean that side on which light falls) in front of a computer screen, light coming from screen is ...
7
votes
2answers
579 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
675 views

Evidence for quantum gravity from gravitational waves

The rumor spreads that physicists will make their big gravitational wave announcement this thursday. I am far from being an experimentalist, but I want to know if there is any chance that the ...
5
votes
1answer
120 views

Do metric theories with torsion contradict solar system observations?

Obviously, the answer to this question can be "maybe, if you make the torsion tensor small enough", but my question is, given some "typical" size to the torsion tensor, do the spin-orbit couplings ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it possible to destroy proton in proton-proton collision?

Or in proton-electron collision. To destroy is to turn into other particles, not baryons. In context of the baryon asymmetry.
4
votes
2answers
1k 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
191 views

Thermal emission cathode electron velocity distribution

I can't find any experimental data (or theoretical expression) on what is the velocity (or energy) distribution of thermal emission cathode electrons emmited from the cathode at approximately 2000 K ...
3
votes
1answer
458 views

Explain background pattern in particle tracing image

I'm trying to understand this image of a particle tracing experiment (which can be found all over the net if you google for "bubble chamber"): ( There are two things that I can't figure out: The ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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
1answer
212 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

objects distorted by the earths curvature

We are doing a project where we hope to make people think about the fact that the earth is round. We want to imagine if we in London could see others places in the world and how the earths curvature ...
0
votes
1answer
170 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
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1answer
8k 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
2answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
913 views

Accidental, unplanned breakthroughs in physics [closed]

There is possibly some idiom 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Experimental signature of topological superconductor

I was wondering if someone can provides some clear experimental signatures of a topological superconductors ? I was thinking about that, because for topological insulator, one of the hallmarks is ...
13
votes
4answers
884 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
727 views

Quantum Computing, Qubit Creation/Entanglement

I am currently a high school student researching quantum computing. I was referred to this site by Google and a friend. Currently I am researching the qubit part of quantum computing. My question is ...
25
votes
1answer
755 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
986 views

What is the most compelling evidence of General Relativity in the presence of matter and energy?

The most oft-cited triumphs of GR are things such as the shifting perihelion of Mercury, gravitational redshift experiments, and gravitational lensing. But, as far as I know, these are only ...
6
votes
7answers
3k views

Is there any reproducible tested evidence for Ni-H cold fusion?

The main replications of cold fusion, the ones that are beyond reproach, used Pd/d as the system. But commercial developers have often claim to use Ni-H to achieve similar effects. The claims include ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

How strong were the gravitational waves that LIGO detected at the source?

Congrats to the LIGO team on the announcement of their discovery of gravity waves! The articles I've read say that the distortion we see here is much smaller than a proton. What about at the source? ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

Why should any physicist know, to some degree, experimental physics?

I've been trying to design a list with reasons why a proper theoretical physicist should understand the methods and the difficulty of doing experimental physics. So far I've only thought of two ...
13
votes
4answers
860 views

The maximum distance for which Coulomb's law has been verified?

We know that Coulomb's law, $F_{12} = \frac{kq_1q_2}{r^2}$, was experimentally verified for small distances by Coulomb himself at the and of the XVIII century. The question is what is the maximum ...
10
votes
3answers
886 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is there a hiss sound when water falls on a hot surface?

Why is there a hiss sound when water falls on a hot surface? I have searched a lot, asked my teachers but none of them seem to give me the logical answer to it.
3
votes
4answers
621 views

Is the principle of Conservation of Energy empirically verifiable?

Before I am inundated by myriad and vociferous claims that conservation of energy is the single most well-attested and experimentally verified principle in all of science, let me say that I am well ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Does a magnetically suspended frog feel weightless?

Magnetic levitation has been used to suspend frogs in midair. I was wondering: Does the animal still feel gravitational pull? I mean: Does the frog feel like an astronaut on the ISS, or does he feel ...
14
votes
9answers
2k views

What are good mechanics experiments for 10 year olds? [closed]

I'm trying to explain elementary mechanics - without the benefits of calculus or even algebra - and struggling. I'd like to find reasonable ways to demonstrate Newton's laws, minimally, and possibly ...
13
votes
1answer
361 views

Does my green laser pointer emit three distinct frequencies, or is my measurement flawed?

I was playing around with a cheap diffraction grating and my set of laser pointers, and I noticed that while the red and the blue pointers produce a single point in the spectrum, my green laser ...
10
votes
1answer
528 views

How the inverse square law in electrodynamics is related to photon mass?

I have read somewhere that one of the tests of the inverse square law is to assume nonzero mass for photon and then, by finding a maximum limit for it , determine a maximum possible error in ...
7
votes
1answer
306 views

What are the different ways to measure the spatial curvature of the universe?

Just what the question asks. Assuming the Friedmann-Rovertson-Walker (FRW) metric, what measurements can be performed to determine the spatial curvature of the universe.
7
votes
1answer
907 views

Can you tell just from its gravity whether the Moon is above or below you?

If you are on a place of Earth where the Moon is currently directly above or directly below you, you experience a slightly reduced gravitational acceleration because of Moon's gravity. This is what ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Left and Right-handed fermions

Is there a simple intuitive way to understand the difference between left-handed and right-handed fermions (electrons say)? How to experimentally distinguish between them?
7
votes
3answers
300 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 ! ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Have we managed to make a perfect vacuum?

Have we managed to make a device without any atom inside it on earth? I was reading about vacuum here, and I found in the examples part here that even on the best man made vacuum devices, there are ...