The result of sampling the property of a system

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27
votes
5answers
3k views

What if the universe is rotating as a whole?

Suppose in the milliseconds after the big bang the cosmic egg had aquired some large angular momentum. As it expanded, keeping the momentum constant (not external forces) the rate of rotation would ...
39
votes
13answers
9k 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?
10
votes
3answers
4k views

How to combine measurement error with statistic error

We have to measure a period of an oscillation. We are to take the time it takes for 50 oscillations multiple times. I know that I will have a $\Delta t = 0.1 \, \mathrm s$ because of my reaction ...
6
votes
1answer
409 views

Quantum Zeno effect and unstable particles

Is it possible to increase indefinitely the lifetime of unstable particles by applying the quantum Zeno effect? Is there a bound from theoretical principles about the maximum extension one can get in ...
4
votes
10answers
1k views

Is it possible for a physical object to have a irrational length?

Suppose I have a caliper that is infinitely precise. Also suppose that this caliper returns not a number, but rather whether the precise length is rational or irrational. If I were to use this ...
84
votes
24answers
10k views

How can you weigh your own head in an accurate way?

I read some methods but they're not accurate. They use the Archimedes principle and they assume uniform body density which of course is far from true. Others are silly like this one: Take a knife ...
8
votes
0answers
150 views

Why is the Planck length the shortest measurable length? [duplicate]

I quote from the Wikipedia article on Planck length: According to the generalized uncertainty principle, the Planck length is in principle, within a factor of order unity, the shortest ...
6
votes
5answers
244 views

Can a ultracentrifuge be used to test general relativity?

With today's ultracentrifuge technology, they can spin so fast that the sample can be subjected to accelerations of up to 2 millions Gs. That is equivalent to two solar masses. Has someone tried to ...
3
votes
1answer
949 views

Does photon have size measurement because of its particle nature

Does photon have size measurement because of its particle nature like electron's 3.86*10^-13m etc..
3
votes
2answers
4k views

How to combine the error of two independent measurements of the same quantity?

I have measured $k_1$ and $k_2$ in two measurements and then I calculated $\Delta k_1$ and $\Delta k_2$. Now I want to calculate $k$ and $\Delta k$. $k$ is just the mean of $k_1$ and $k_2$. I thought ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
725 views

About binary stars and calculating velocity, period and radius of their orbit

I saw somewhere about being able to measure the velocity, period and radius of a binary star orbit by looking at red shift and blue shift. I understand it but can someone give me an example of ...
-3
votes
3answers
376 views

Significant Figures [closed]

Subtract 0.2 J from 7.26 J. Express your answer to the correct number of significant figures for the given data. I think its 7, but the answer is 7.1. HOW?
11
votes
4answers
831 views

Energy Measurements in a Two Fermion Double Well System

This question is related but my question here is much more elementary than discussions of the Pauli principle across the universe. There has been a fair amount of discussion around at the moment on ...
4
votes
10answers
1k views

What is the wavefunction of the observer himself?

I am aware about different interpretations of quantum mechanics out there but would mostly like to see an answer from the perspective of Copenhagen interpretation (or relative quantum mechanics if you ...
17
votes
1answer
951 views

Is the Uncertainty Principle valid for information about the past?

My layman understanding of the Uncertainty Principle is that you can't determine the both the position and momentum of a particle at the same point in time, because measuring one variable changes the ...
9
votes
3answers
444 views

If time standard clocks and any memories about the time standard are destroyed, can we recover the time standard again?

Assume the time standard clocks and any memories about the time standard are destroyed. Can we recover the time standard again exactly? Recovering the time standard again means we can determine the ...
1
vote
1answer
556 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
66 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 = ...
-1
votes
2answers
258 views

Is there any phenomenon in physics which is sensitive to irrational numbers?

We can measure only rational numbers by our scale. Here is an example where irrational numbers does makes sense. If so then this question may have some theoretical importance. Is irrational numbers ...
13
votes
4answers
774 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 ...
17
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.
5
votes
3answers
323 views

Setting up a local-coordinate system in space-time using only a single clock and light beams

I have a question to ask about the operationalist view of space-time. I am a mathematician who happens to be interested in physics, so if anyone thinks that my question is a silly or vague one, please ...
10
votes
3answers
547 views

How can I weigh liquid in a sealed container?

How do you measure the mass and volume of alcohol if it is in a sealed container? Are there clever ways of achieving this? The weight of the container is not known. I can't open the container, I ...
9
votes
3answers
751 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

Significant figures vs. absolute error

On NIST Avogadro's Number, $N_A = 6.022\;141\;29 \times 10^{23} \text{ mol}^{-1}$ has 9 significant figures and a standard uncertainty of $0.000\;000\;27 \times 10^{23} \text{ mol}^{-1}$. First, can ...
3
votes
3answers
232 views

Are negativity of the Wigner function and quantum behaviour equivalent?

I've read the following question: Negative probabilities in quantum physics and I'm not sure I understand all the details about my actual question. I think mine is more direct. It is known that the ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the velocity area method for estimating the flow of water?

Can anyone explain to me what the Velocity Area method for measuring river or water flow is? My guess is that the product of the cross sectional area and the velocity of water flowing in a pipe is ...
4
votes
3answers
248 views

Precision of Coulomb's law

Up to which precision has the coulomb law proven to be true? I.e. if you have two electrons in a vacuum chamber, 5 meters appart, have the third order terms been ruled out? Are there any theoretical ...
3
votes
2answers
352 views

Determination of mass density distribution of an object

This is a follow-up to a previous question How can you weigh your own head in an accurate way?. My purpose is not to restart the flurry of more or less humorous jokes (which are not such a bad thing ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

What can be measured or derived about a remote magnetic field? [closed]

This question related to Why are magnetic lines of force invisible? and is motivated by a comment of @BlackbodyBlacklight, based on that, the illustrating example may depend on that linked question as ...
2
votes
1answer
480 views

Measuring the magnitude of the magnetic field of a single electron due to its spin

Is it possible to measure the magnitude of the magnetic field of a single electron due to its spin? The electron's intrinsic magnetic field is not dependent upon the amount of energy it has does it? ...
1
vote
1answer
149 views

Expectation values in QFT?

What is the meaning of different expectation values in QFT? For instance: $$\langle 0|{\cal O}(0)|q,s\rangle$$ or $$\langle 0|{\cal O}(0)|0\rangle$$ with ${\cal O}$ being some operator and ...
1
vote
2answers
7k views

Comparing scales of atomic level objects to scales of everyday size objects

I am trying to come up with everyday size objects comparisions of atomic scales items, e.g. if a proton probability cloud was of size basketball how far would the next atoms to it be? reason being is ...
0
votes
1answer
175 views

How do we measure a quantum system properties? (length, mass and time) [closed]

How do we measure a quantum particle properties? (length, mass and time)
6
votes
3answers
190 views

Is a “shift in the meaning” of Accuracy and Precision occurring?

Accuracy and precision are among the most fundamental concepts in experimental physics, and, I always believed, completely unambiguous. Recently I found that the Wikipedia article on Accuracy and ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does an infrared thermometer display very low temperature when being directed to the outer air?

I'm toying with an infrared thermometer - one which you point onto an object, press the button and it instantly measures the temperature by estimating the infrared radiation from the object. It shows ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Measuring more accurately the distance of remote galaxies

From what I read in Wikipedia, the velocity of a Galaxy has two components: one is due to Hubble's law for cosmic expansion, and the other is the peculiar velocity of the galaxy. Since the peculiar ...
2
votes
1answer
351 views

Non-Hermitian operator with real eigenvalues?

So we know that in Quantum Mechanics we require the operators to be Hermitian, so that their eigenvalues are real ($\in \mathbb{R}$) because they correspond to observables. What about a non-Hermitian ...
2
votes
2answers
283 views

Accuracy and Error of Atomic Clocks

I'm quoting a passage from my notes: The development of clocks based on atomic oscillations allowed measures of timing with accuracy on the order of $1$ part in $10^{14}$, corresponding to errors ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

How is the energy of a lightning calculated?

I was wondering how is the energy of a lightning measured? Is it based on the luminous intensity and/or the generated sound? What about the generated heat and energy spent in the production of ozone? ...
2
votes
1answer
128 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). ...
2
votes
1answer
955 views

How much water must flow trough canal to maintain a constant water deep?

In order to maintain a constant water deep in canal, how much water must flow trought the pipe ? As shown on picture, canal have a rectangular shape. I don't know if canal length have an influence. ...
2
votes
1answer
662 views

Is $\sigma$ or $\sigma / \sqrt{N}$ is error of a measurement?

I wonder whether $\sigma$ or $\sigma / \sqrt{N}$ is error of a measurement. When I measure, say $0, 1, -1, 1, -1$, I have a $\sigma = 1$. I just measure $0, 1, -1$, I also have $\sigma = 1$. But in ...
1
vote
2answers
68 views

About time measurements

What we regard as TIME is just a way of measuring duration for various phenomena. Like a ruler is a measuring device for measuring length ( or breadth or width). Saying Time is an illusion is like ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

Maximum precision of deterministic measurements

Okay, I tend to have some weird thoughts, so bear with my odd question here. Suppose you have a collection of particles that obey Newtonian mechanics. For simplification, all particles are identical ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Calculating the Uncertainty for an Average Value [closed]

How would I calculate the uncertainty for the average of this set? $32.5 \pm 0.1$ $32.0 \pm 0.1$ $32.3 \pm 0.1$
1
vote
4answers
806 views

How to describe a well defined “zero moment” in time

Suppose you have to specify the moment in time when a given event occurred, a "zero time". The record must be accurate to the minute, and be obtainable even after thousands of years. All the measures ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Experimentally, what categorizes a measurement as corresponding to a certain observable?

I want to write a computer program. The input to the program is: A description of an experimental device (for instance a Stern-Gerlach apparatus, or a laser and a polarizer) What the experimenter ...