Questions tagged [experimental-physics]

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

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Newton's First Law of Motion; Empirical Aspects

Newton's first law states that in an inertial frame, a body at rest continues to be at rest, and a body in constant rectilinear motion continues its motion, unless an external force is applied upon ...
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How does LIGO remove the effects of environmental noise?

Since LIGO is dealing with readings at nanometers, events such as vehicles driving nearby, and constant (but extremely minor) tremors of the earth can cause movement with the mirrors at nanometers. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Is fluorescence from a single atom/ion visible with the naked eye (e.g. in a strongly coupled trap or cavity)

I remember sitting in on a conference talk by a person (possibly Rainer Blatt) doing research with trapped ions (or single atoms strongly coupled to light in an optical cavity), and the person showed ...
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Are there published predictions that hydrogen could remain metallic at ambient pressure?

Below the question For the recently reported production (January 2017) of metallic hydrogen in the laboratory - what is the evidence exactly? there is a comment that directed me to the BBC News ...
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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 ...
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Have the Rowan University “hydrino” findings been replicated elsewhere?

In 2009, Rowan University released a paper claiming to replicate Blacklight Power's results on energy generation using hydrino states of the hydrogen atom. The paper (link now dead) appears to ...
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Experimental limits on non-Newtonian gravitational force at length scales larger than 1 meter?

This answer from 2012 shows some information on an exponential term characterized by relative strength and range parameters $\alpha$ and $\lambda$, One potential tested here is here $$V(r)=-G\...
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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 ...
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A proton's weak charge is .0719. Is this dimensionless? A ratio?

A recent piece of major news in the physics world is that the proton's weak-force charge was measured to be .0719. Is that a ratio? A dimensionless number, with no units? The articles I read ...
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What experiment(s) have or can refute the existence of an electron-particle “system” over the separate existence of a neutron within itself?

This question actually came about from a discussion of another question posed here The neutron is known to be comprised of an electron and a proton, and there are observations that the neutron can be ...
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Energy for burning things!

I have a cylindrical lens & a surface that can be burned.( for example wood , sheet ,...) In a sunny day , I wanna burn the surface but I don't know the "Energy for burning surfaces" If the $Power$...
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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 $1/299\,792\,458^{\textrm{th}}$ of a second and the speed of light is accepted to be $299\,792\,458\ \textrm{m}\,{\rm s}^{-1}$, ...
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Free parameters in the Standard Model

From my understanding of the standard model, I understand that there are 19 or 20 free parameters that we need to put in by hand as, and I'm guessing here, there is as yet no theoretical basis for ...
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Neutrino versus Anti-neutrino Detection

Is there a detection method in use that can distinguish a neutrino from its anti-neutrino?
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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 ...
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149 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 ...
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746 views

Differences between reconstruction- and generation-level variables in HEP data

I am working on a CMS - related project where the ROOT trees contain both reconstruction-level and generation-level particle variables (like mass). However, I don't know the basic difference between ...
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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 outside....
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What exactly is measured in a e.g. hadronic calorimeter - momentum or energy of a particle?

I got a little puzzled with the concept of hadronic/electromagnetic calorimeter. Do they measure the energy of the particle e.g. an electron, like the first entry of the four-momentum, or the momentum,...
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What was the major discovery on gravitational waves made March 17th, 2014, in the BICEP2 experiment?

The Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics held a press conference today to announce a major discovery relating to gravitational waves. What was their announcement, and what are the implications? ...
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What are the next generation physics experiments? [closed]

The LHC and LIGO are two recent examples of hugely ambitious experiments in fundamental physics, both of which took decades to develop. What are the next major experiments currently being planned and ...
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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 ...
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How did Rutherford conclude that most of the mass (as well as the positive charge) was concentrated in the nucleus?

Geiger and Marsden's experiment led Rutherford to believe that the positive charge and most of the mass of the atom was concentrated in a small region. I understand what led him to conclude the way ...
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Cause for spikes in Trinity nuclear bomb test

In Richard Rhodes' book, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, I was reading about the Trinity nuclear test. High speed photos were taken and this one is from <1ms after the detonation. The book mentions ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2002 research: speed of light slowing down?

Back in 2002 there was some research published hinting that $c$ may have been faster at some distant point. It was based on measurements of the fine-structure constant, $$ \alpha = \frac1{4\pi\...
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How are the 4 km arms of LIGO measured so accurately?

The arms of the LIGO interferometer are 4 km long. Now, LIGO functions by measuring the phase difference between two beams of light coming (as in a Michelson interferometer) to a sensitivity of $10^{-...
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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 ...
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What is the largest number of bosons placed in a BEC?

What is the record for the largest number of bosons placed in a Bose-Einstein condensate? What are the prospects for how high this might get in the future? EDIT: These guys reported 20 million ...
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What is the smallest length scale ever measured?

And, by the way, what is, or are, the measured values?
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What is the difference between translation and rotation?

What is the difference between translation and rotation ? If this were a mathematics site, the question would be at best naive. But this is physics site, and the question must be interpreted as a ...
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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 ...
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How to prepare a desired quantum state?

Given a quantum state function, we can Fourier expand it in terms of stationary states of the Hamiltonian. So if we want to build that same quantum state approximately all we need to do is to ...
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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 ...
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Experiment which shows that Newton's third law is not true for magnetic forces

I am just reading David Morins "Introduction to Classical Mechanics". He writes about Newtons third law the following: It holds for forces of the “pushing” and “pulling” type, but it fails for ...
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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 ...
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How many digits of Pi are required in physics? [closed]

In other words: which physics experiment requires to know Pi with the highest precision?
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How is $J^{PC}$ value experimentally determined for new types of particles?

How is $J^{PC}$ value experimentally determined for new types of particles? For example, this paper says ... Angular correlations in B+→X(3872)K+ decays, with X(3872)→ρ0J/ψ, ρ0→π+π− and J/ψ→μ+μ−, >...
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Detecting absolute motion inside a box

This is not a contradiction and I know it is impossible but still consider a thought experiment by me and point out if something is wrong. See the following picture and then the explanation follows. ...
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What are some dense elements I can use for a demonstration?

I'm musing about how to give students an intuitive feeling about density by letting them lift a same sized volume of different materials, e.g. 1 liter of water, a $10 {\times} 10 {\times} 10 \, \...
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Converting impact speed to pressure magnitude

In explosive safety and stability testing, a drop test is commonly used to determine the sensitivity to impact. In the test, an impactor of known mass is dropped. The initial height varies throughout ...
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1answer
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Detailed form of light waves in vacuum and how to test it experimentally?

Consider a light wave in vacuum. Do the $\vec{B}$ and $\vec{E}$ fields have to be orthogonal to each other? Since you can add constants to a solution to Maxwell's equation it doesn't seem neccesary ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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What does the LHC do afterwards?

Astronomical telescopes are now mega projects and cost $1Bn and although they are pitched to solve the current interest of the day they are general purpose machines and with upgrades and new ...
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Determining the refractive index of a foil

(59th Polish Olympiad in Physics, final stage, experimental part, 2010) You have at your disposal: a sample of blue foil of a homogeneous material, placed between two glass panes in a slide ...
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Did Newton estimate the gravitational constant $G$?

Did Newton estimate the gravitational constant $\mathrm{G}$? In my head, he did this by comparing: acceleration of an object on Earth (let's say, an apple) $9.81 \,\mathrm{m\cdot s^{-2}}$, $6400 \,\...