An introduction to experimental physics by Colin Cooke

By Colin Cooke

Figuring out, designing and carrying out experiments is on the middle of technology. this article introduces the elemental rules on which physicists may still construct an intensive experimental method of their discipline.


figuring out, designing and carrying out experiments is on the center of technological know-how. this article introduces the basic rules on which physicists should still construct an intensive experimental procedure to Read more...

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Design the experiment. 5. Make preliminary measurements. 6. Analyze the preliminary results. 7. Redesign the experiment if necessary. 8. Perform the experiment. 9. Write a scientific report. General discussion 1. Choice of subject In industry a suitable subject might arise from a problem encountered in a manufacturing process, such as the need to make a product more reliable or cheaper. University research may be more concerned to ask fundamental questions about the way the universe functions. A teacher in a classroom selects experiments based on the ideas, in physics or experimentation, at a level suitable for the students concerned, or sets tasks to practise a particular skill.

Thus and so rs+b rb rs = = = ns+b/ts+b nb/tb rs+b−rb Source + background Background only Source only As with any experiment there will be random errors in measuring rs+b and rb. These will propagate into an error in rs, which I will call . The most accurate measurement will be achieved when we divide our time between the two measurements in such a way as to produce a minimum for . e. (10) This seems to require the answer to the measurements (rb/rs+b) before we can decide the best conditions for making them!

This paid dividends when Millikan discovered the need for a modification to Stokes’s law for the viscous drag on very small spheres. 5. Make preliminary measurements The results of Millikan’s preliminary experiments were not as expected: the measured elementary charge should have been independent of the radius of the oil drop to which it was attached. e. small radii). 0002 cm. For such small radii, comparable to the distances between molecules, he postulated that the medium through which the drops fell no longer appeared homogeneous.

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An introduction to experimental physics by Colin Cooke
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