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Questions tagged [measurements]

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2
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5answers
2k views

Are Uncertainties in Measurements Important?

In the first lecture of MIT's Classical Mechanics Prof. Lewin highlights the importance of uncertainties in measurements by quoting "Any measurements, without the knowledge of uncertainty is ...
5
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2answers
184 views

Can quantum measurement process be thought of as a sieve?

Consider an observable represented by the Hermitian operator $$A=\sum_{a'}a' |a'\rangle \langle a'|.$$ As I read on Sakurai's textbook, the process of measuring $A$ throws a system initially into ...
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1answer
25k views

How light years is measured? [closed]

How are light years are measured? I remember the distance between earth and moon are measured by the delay in light which travels and comes back. But how are light years calculated?
4
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1answer
237 views

Distinguishing two quantum states practically

Suppose we have two states $$|x\rangle = 1 |0\rangle + 0 |1\rangle$$ and $$|y\rangle = \sqrt{1-\epsilon^2} |0> + \epsilon |1>$$ where say $\epsilon = 10^{-20}$ Can we distinguish ...
1
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1answer
680 views

Measuring a Rod in Motion with two Synchronized Clocks

An explanation of special relativity I'm struggling with, goes like this: A rod traveling by a "stationary" observer has its length measured by use of two stationary synchronized clocks (synchronized ...
1
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1answer
400 views

Graphing measurements with uncertainties

I need to draw a graph of measurements of time for a ball to drop on an inclined plane, with error bars, along with lines of best and worst fit. The problem is that I need to do this on the computer ...
3
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1answer
1k views

simple test/measurement to quantify water opacity

I am performing some measurements on liquid surfaces and I want to quantify how these mesures depend on the liquid opacity by performing it with different concentrations of colorant. To allow ...
10
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1answer
136 views

Why is the measured distance to the Triangulum Galaxy much more uncertain than to the Andromeda Galaxy?

Why is the measured distance uncertainty for M33 (835 ± 105 kiloparsec) six times bigger than the measured distance uncertainty for M31 (778 ± 17 kiloparsec)? They are approximately at the same ...
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2answers
16k 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 ...
15
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3answers
12k views

Home experiments to measure the RPM of a pedestal fan without special equipment?

Is it possible to determine to an approximate degree, the revolutions per minute of a fan, for example a pedesal fan pictured below, without using some electronic/mechanical measuring device? One ...
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0answers
35 views

Review of Gas Chromatographs?

Could anyone suggest a recent review article or book on gas chromatography instrumentation? My interest is in the devices themselves, rather than using them for a particular application. This article,...
4
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3answers
1k views

How could a particle be isolated to avoid decoherence?

The question aims to this issue : if there is some technological arrangement (or action) to take over the particle/system in order to keep it in a coherent state, then the field, (force or whatever) ...
6
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2answers
4k views

Mass of a galaxy via luminosity

Is there a general formula for calculating the mass of a galaxy, or even a nebula from the luminosity? Or, is there a way of calculating the total mass of a galaxy from its energy output? Is there a ...
4
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1answer
210 views

What near-future measurement technique improvements will extend our physical knowledge?

Inspired by the wiki-article on atom-lasers: Another application, which might also benefit from atom lasers, is atom interferometry. In an atom interferometer an atomic wave packet is ...
1
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2answers
450 views

Can two entanglement particles satisfy at same time two different wave functions?

The wave function determines the probabilities of an outcome, and the wave function is parameterized "shaped" depending on the measurement set. i.e. two different measurement set would lead to two ...
1
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3answers
399 views

How can I measure the physical properties of a metallic string?

Metallic strings exist in different kinds but I would like to measure for a metallic string: the section/geometry along its length, to a precision of 1/100 mm its elongation when a tension is exerted ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Can you use a laser to measure the speed of light with a rotating mirror?

I have learned that the classical measurement of the speed of light with a rotating mirror does not work with a laser (as opposed to, say, a mercury-vapor lamp). Can you tell me if and how coherency ...
2
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1answer
897 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? ...
3
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3answers
339 views

Knowing when wavefunction collapses

So I learned that after a measurement of, lets say the position of the wavefunction of a particle is made, if another measurement of the position of the particle is made right away, you should get the ...
9
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4answers
11k views

Measuring the spin of a single electron

Is it possible to measure the spin of a single electron? What papers have been published on answering this question? Would the measurement require a super sensitive SQUID, Superconductive Quantum ...
4
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2answers
6k views

Measuring acceleration of earth due to its fall around the sun

Every orbiting of a satellite around a mass is nothing else but a constant fall - and therefore acceleration - towards this mass. In a way it is a "falling around" that mass. My question Is it ...
3
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3answers
597 views

Size of atoms based on atomic number

I'm interested in the size of atoms (extent of the outermost electron cloud), in particular its cross-sectional area and how it scales by increasing Z. (I trust that this won't be affected much by ...
10
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5answers
1k views

How would I go about detecting monopoles?

A question needed for a "solid" sci-fi author: How to detect a strong magnetic monopole? (yes, I know no such thing is to be found on Earth). Think of basic construction details, principles of ...
9
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4answers
23k views

Weight on carpet vs. hard floor

Will the scale say I weigh more, less, or the same on a carpet as compared to a hard floor? You can assume the scale works via spring mechanism. Free body diagrams encouraged!
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10answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Pauli exclusion principle and Entangled pairs

It is true for fermions in the same potential that the total wavefunction of two particles must be antisymmetric with respect to exchange of electrons. Which means the spin wavefunction is given by $...
12
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3answers
755 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 ...
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5answers
5k 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 $1/299\,792\,458^{\textrm{th}}$ of a second and the speed of light is accepted to be $299\,792\,458\ \textrm{m}\,{\rm s}^{-1}$, ...
48
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6answers
12k 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Unambiguous distinguishing of quantum states by local measurement

Let's have two orthogonal n-particle quantum states: $|\psi \rangle$ and $|\phi \rangle$. In theory it is always possible to make an unambiguous measurement. However, things get complicated when one ...
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12answers
13k 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?
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4answers
6k views

Finding the volume of this irregular shape I have

I have an approximately basketball-sized non-hollow piece of aluminum sitting in my house that is of irregular shape. I need to find the volume of it for a very legitimate yet irrelevant reason. ...
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2answers
8k views

How does one measure the mass of a galaxy? And other such large quantities?

Trained as a pure mathematician, I see claims about the mass of a galaxy and other such huge measurements that are arrived at experimentally, and I just have to scratch my head. I know this is a bit ...