Experiments in Physics  

In General > s.a. physics [inference].
* Experiment and observation: Although observation, in the form of measurement and insight, is part of an experiment, experiments differ from observations in that experimenters prescribe the values of variables believed to be relevant.
@ Experimental foundations: Trigg 71; Telegdi pr(90); Cook 94.
@ Conceptual: Staley PhSc(02)jun [evidence and bias]; Deutsch a1508 [elimination of probabilistic concepts].
@ Other: Perl 95 [lectures and essays].
> Institutions: see XX-century physics [BNL, SLAC].

Measurement > s.a. statistics and error analysis; units.
* Idea: A series of yes/no questions, e.g., a detector checks if a particle hit the i-th wire, for all i.
* Conditions: It requires having a notion of time, conventionally.
@ Texts: Roberts 79; Klein 89.
@ Articles: Dunningham CP(06) [using quantum mechanics to improve precision]; Crease PT(11)mar [connections between metrology, musicology, and politics in the III century China].

Specific Areas, Devices, and Quantities
* Spectrometer: Any instrument that separates and allows the separate detection and measurement of different energy components of a beam of particles or radiation; > s.a. philosophy of science.
@ Cloud chamber, principle: Mott PRS(29); in Heisenberg 30.
> Quantities: see magnetism; mass; quantum measurement; rotation; temperature.
> Gravitation and astrophysics: see astronomy; gravitational and quantum-gravity phenomenology; tests of general relativity.
> Particle physics and quantum theory: see experimental particle physics; experiments in quantum mechanics; parity [violation].

Important Experiments > s.a. Michelson-Morley Experiment; Pound-Rebka Experiment.
* Cavendish experiment: An experiment that measured the horizontal gravitational force between test bodies at distances up to a few meters in the lab using a torsion balance, and observing its deflection or period; > s.a. gravitational constant; newtonian gravity.
* Millikan's oil-drop experiment: 1909, Measured e, and showed that charge is quantized; Charges on minute oil drops produced by an atomizer are calculated from their terminal velocities with and without an electric field, and the value of the electric field; > s.a. gravitational-wave detection.
* Young's double-slit experiment: 1801, Showed that light is a wave [@ news pw(05)apr, and surface waves].
@ General: Crease 03.
@ Cavendish experiment: Brill gq/97-fs [in general relativity]; Rennekamp pt(15)mar [recreation in high school].
@ Franck-Hertz experiment: Rapior et al AJP(06)may.
@ Hertz 1888 experiment: Faccio et al AJP(06)nov [revisit].
@ Millikan's experiment: Millikan PR(13) + focus Phy(2012); Niaz BJPS(05) [history and assessment of controversy]; Perry PT(07)may; focus Phy(12)jan [measuring individual charges on plastic beads dispersed in a fluid].

"What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning" – W K Heisenberg
"Every great experiment was built for the wrong reason" – C N Brown, Fermilab


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