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Questions tagged [measurements]

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3
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1answer
827 views

How to measure the mass and balance point of a human forearm?

I've been trying to find this out for about a month now. I'm usually met with humorous but not really helpful comments about chopping my own arm off. I'm preferably looking to do this on a budget ...
0
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4answers
488 views

Is there an official list of independent units of measurements?

When I say 'independent units', I mean those which cannot be broken down anymore, and simultaneously forms the basis for any more, complex measurements. For example, height, length, and width can all ...
1
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3answers
143 views

Is there a way to measure the thickness of a metallic plate of order of micrometers?

I have a $5 cm×5 cm×? \mu m$ copper plate. Where '$?$', the thickness of the plate, is really small (about 30um). Is there anyway using physics to calculate the thickness? Update: Sorry I forgot ...
77
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5answers
13k views

How do laser “tape measures” work?

There is a device available for about $\$40$, which fits in the palm of the hand, runs on two AA batteries, and can measure distances up to $50\,{\rm ft}$ to an accuracy of $\sim \frac{1}{8}''$ ($\sim ...
0
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1answer
68 views

making sense of measures in electronics

I am in secondary school in the UK, and at this point in physics the information we are given is very vague at a fundamental level. My main concern is with electricity and circuits, and the measures ...
5
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2answers
164 views

Is wavefunction collapse “global”?

I have the feeling that the premises of this question may not be coherent (so to speak), but here goes: Suppose we have a system $X$ in a quantum superposition between states $0$ and $1$, say, with ...
1
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0answers
1k views

Estimate heating wires temperature

Im design a power supply to work with heating wires and one of the task is to estimate the temperature of the bare wire for a given current or power consumption. I've tried to measure the temperature ...
2
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1answer
88 views

Measurements in quantum mechanics

Why does measurement change things? I read that measurement changes things because we have to bounce photons off an object to 'see' it and that changes its position, momentum etc... But on the other ...
2
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2answers
172 views

Why doesn't precessing a spin cause a measurement?

When an electron is placed in a magnetic field, its spin precesses. Why doesn't this reveal the spin via angular momentum being transferred into the environment? Impractical Thought Experiment ...
13
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2answers
1k views

How precise can current technologies measure the mass of an object?

Masses of various objects are listed on this wikipedia page: Orders of magnitude (mass). For example, mass of an HIV-1 virus is on the order of 1 femtogram. Are these data actually measured (which I ...
0
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0answers
34 views

Why does't the use of the same number of significant digits result in consistent result?

Here is a table: $ \begin{array}{ c c c c c c c } Trial number & Time for 20 cycles & Period & Frequency & Wavelength & Velocity (wavelength*frequency) & Velocity (wavelength/...
2
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1answer
252 views

Measuring very long half lives accurately

There are already some questions about long half life times for radioactive elements, explaining how to calculate the half life time. Now I am wondering: When you have some radioactive material and ...
0
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1answer
274 views

Measurement on two Qubits

Assuming I have two Qubits, i.e. a four-dim. Hilbert space. In the following, I choose the basis {|11>,|10>,|01>,|00>}. I want to have a look on the non-diagonal part <11|$\rho$|00>. How can I ...
4
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0answers
673 views

Calculating statistical significance of peak over background in counting experiment

I histogrammed the invariant masses of particular events in a counting experiment. There is a specific peak which towers over the expected exponential background. How can I give the statistical ...
2
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1answer
93 views

Correction for uncertainty of multiplications and divisions

The conventional means of obtaining uncertainty of $c$ where $c = a \cdot b$ is adding percentage uncertainty of $a$ and $b$. This method seems to have a flaw as shown below (please excuse me if I am ...
2
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2answers
232 views

Why the Du Noüy ring method does not depend on the material the ring is made of?

Du Noüy ring method is a way to measure surface tension. Why the measured force, $$F= 2\pi \cdot (r_i + r_a) \cdot \gamma$$ does not depend on the material the ring itself is made of? Wouldn't a ...
0
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0answers
44 views

Terminology for 'inferring the current state of a quantum system as it evolves and gets measured out of your control'

Suppose I hand you a quantum computer in an unknown state, but running a known program. You know the program and which part of the program is currently being executed. The program tells the computer ...
1
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1answer
84 views

How to quantify the level of non determinism / randomness in the universe

I recently read a little about the Bell test (I'm not a physicist, but reasonably well educated) and I started wondering if there is a way to express the level of non-determinism as a single number ...
0
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3answers
2k views

Finding the random uncertainty of a set of values [closed]

Ok, for the switch-on voltage of a red LED I have the readings as follows, all in volts: $$ 1.45, 1.46, 1.46, 1.44, 1.45 $$ The mean of these readings, in volts, is $1.45$ (I rounded up to $2$ decimal ...
4
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1answer
182 views

Decoherence Free Subspaces and how they stay this way, using the Zeno Effect

I am currently reading papers discussing the Zeno Effect, which discuss how measuring a system at high frequencies can almost freeze the state of a system, or keep the system in a specific subspace of ...
2
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1answer
343 views

How is the total spin of a particle actually measured?

Say I have a fermion whose total spin I do not know. I then use a stern gerlach setup to measure $S_z$. If I find +1/2, I could say that the total spin is $1/2$. But it could also be the eigenket $|3/...
1
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0answers
294 views

Radius of $n^\rm{th}$ orbit of an atom in terms of Bohr's Radius

Bohr's Radius$=0.529$ Angstroms My book says that the radius of $nth$ orbit of any atom can be calculated by: $$r=n^2 a_o$$ where $a_o$ is Bohr's Radius. But I think it should be given by following ...
1
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1answer
658 views

How to find the error of all the counts within the Full Width Half Maximum (FWHM)?

We've been doing Gamma ray spectroscopy and have peaks from various sources. We'd use Poisson statistics, but obviously the detector doesn't have a resolution of zero, thus we are summing the counts ...
1
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2answers
50 views

Could neutrinos be used to take high resolution pictures of atomic nuclei?

Of course, this is obviously not feasible with modern technology but is it theoretically possible?
0
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0answers
68 views

Practicality of measuring observables

In quantum mechanics Hermitian operators acting on the Hilbert space of a system are observables. From what I understand this means that there is some measurement we can do such that the eigenvalues ...
6
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2answers
377 views

How well can we localize gravitational wave sources?

A recent question cited a story about the recent gravitational wave detection saying that we can use the gravitational wave sensing to find supernova earlier in their process of collapse: [with the ...
6
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2answers
1k views

How to (safely) measure the surface area of a human body? [closed]

Here's a question just for curiosity. You measure mass on scales. You could measure volume by submerging in a bath with a snorkel system. But how could you measure a living human's surface area ...
0
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1answer
69 views

How could the BOE (barrel of oil equivalent) be measured?

The barrel of oil equivalent was given as an example of gigajoule scale energy. "The barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) is a unit of energy based on the approximate energy released by burning one barrel (...
0
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1answer
986 views

Calculate how many photons hitting a sample that are absorbed

In the determination of the quantum yield of a photoisomerization, $\Phi,$ the following is needed $$ \Phi = \frac{\mbox{Number of "reactions"}}{\mbox{Number of absorbed photons}} $$ The photon flux ...
2
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0answers
239 views

Venturi “Turn Down” [closed]

I'm sorry if this isn't the right forum for this question, but physics is the only stackexchange which had many results for Venturi. I'm trying to measure the flow of air through a 16mm hose/pipe ...
1
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0answers
62 views

Is there any well-defined, measurable atomic size?

Is there any well-defined, measurable size at the atomic scale? I was under the impression that the van der Waals radius was a good way of describing the size of an atom, but it turns out to be a ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Is there a tool to measure the chemical potential of a system?

Let's suppose I put you inside a room filled with a gas. You can measure its pressure directly with a barometer. You can measure its temperature directly with a thermometer. Can you measure its ...
2
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0answers
67 views

How precisely do we know the van der Waals radius of hydrogen?

I've found several sources that say the van der Waals radius of hydrogen is $120 pm$. How precisely do we know this number? What order of magnitude is the error on this measurement?
2
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0answers
291 views

Simultaneous measurement of non-commuting observables without uncertainty

A pair of non-commuting Observables $\hat{X}$ and $\hat{P}$ does not have a common set of eigenfunctions, i.e., it can not be measured simultaneously. Let us for the sake of simplicity assume that $[\...
-1
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4answers
773 views

Measuring force of a punch

I'm trying to build a device that can measure the force of a punch. ​ My initial plan was to build a platform with 4 springs (one at each corner) and an accelerometer in the middle. However, if the ...
3
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0answers
246 views

How are the melting points of metals measured

How are melting points of metals measured? What are the apparatuses used and how do they "conceive" heat units?
1
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1answer
84 views

Why do scientists measure fundamental constants so precisely?

According to the last CODATA report the charge of electron is measured very precisely (10 decimal places). And it's not only about the charge of electron. Why do scientists measure fundamental ...
2
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1answer
3k views

Ideal shape of a water clock

The ancients undoubtedly discovered the ideal shape of a water clock by trial and error. In examining some ancient water clocks I notice the shape is different depending on the size. For example, a 9-...
2
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2answers
320 views

How mass is determined in dynamics?

Mass is one of the most core and complicated concepts in dynamics. I have tried many books but I still don't have a good idea of how the mass of any object is determined relative to another. In The ...
0
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1answer
181 views

Combining errors. Gamma spectrometry, Poisson distribution

I have run an experiment 3 times and measured the results by gamma spectrometry. For example I get values like this (1 $\sigma$): $100 (10)$ $90 (8)$ $110 (12)$ The above 1 sigma error is based ...
2
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1answer
502 views

How accurate is Newtonian mechanics? [closed]

How accurate is (theoretical, i.e. the mathematical formulation basing on "formalised" physical constants, such as material density) Newtonian mechanics? What does the accuracy depend on (material ...
7
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1answer
8k views

The uncertainty of a metre ruler?

I have been taught that the uncertainty in the measurement of a metre ruler is +-1 mm. However , I was also taught that the uncertainty is half of the smallest division in the measuring instrument. So,...
1
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1answer
636 views

Deriving a POVM from a projective measurement

I understand how to show that every POVM is equivalent to a projective measurement on a larger Hilbert space, but I don't understand why the converse is true. The vast majority of explanations of ...
0
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2answers
91 views

How are the SI units “generalised”?

How exactly are the SI units generalised from their definitions? E.g. the kilogram is a weight of an object of cylindrical form, with diameter and height of about 39 mm, and is made of an alloy of ...
1
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2answers
630 views

What is the relation between charge and polarization?

On one hand, in this "Measurement of polarisation" lab manual, polarization is surface charge density, $P=\frac{Q}{A}$, in other words, charge an polarization are essentially the same thing. On the ...
14
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3answers
802 views

What does multiplying two real-world values represent? [duplicate]

I totally get what division means in the real world. "dollars / hour", well, that's the number of dollars you will make in one hour. "kilometers / gallon" is the distance you can go with a gallon of ...
5
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2answers
245 views

How is dark matter detected?

What methods do we use to detect Dark Matter? If I understand correctly, due to lack of electromagnetic interaction it should be able to phase through normal matter nearly like through void - since ...
-1
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1answer
1k views

Can conductivity (or resistivity) value be assigned to 2D materials?

2D materials, such as graphene monolayer or graphene nanoribbon, don't really have a cross section. By definition, conductivity is $\sigma = \frac{J}{E}$, and $J$, the current density, is calculated ...
1
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2answers
97 views

How to measure 8 μm surface bumps?

I want to measure surface bumps which are larger in size than $8\ \mathrm{\mu m}$ on a uncoated plastic mirror. So it can be any number of smaller bumps and that would not effect the application. I ...
6
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0answers
135 views

Measuring the Dirac field

If the Dirac field $\psi(x)$ is to the electron as the Electromagnetic field is to the photon, why is it that we can measure the Electromagnetic field, whereas the Dirac field we cannot?