By Colin Cooke
Realizing, designing and carrying out experiments is on the middle of technology. this article introduces the elemental ideas on which physicists may still construct an intensive experimental method of their discipline.
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Extra resources for An introduction to experimental physics
This measured the amplitude of a voltage pulse produced when a nuclear particle entered a detector called a scintillation counter. The amplitude is a measure of the energy deposited in the counter by the particle, so that with sensible precautions one can measure the energy spectrum of particles emitted from the radioactive source, which can therefore be identified and its intensity measured. The circuits were designed to detect pulses at a maximum rate of 106 per second, but were unreliable at this frequency.
Ten years or so later I awaited the arrival of its successor before upgrading to my present beautiful machine. Two good choices out of two, so far, is satisfactory but the next change will have to be considered equally carefully. It always surprises me that many university departments do not allow for depreciation of equipment from year to year, based on its cost and likely lifetime, but seem to be taken by surprise each time an expensive set of apparatus 48 MEASURING THE EXPERIMENTAL VARIABLES needs upgrading.
He then not only had a problem worthy of his considerable talent but an idea that could be developed into a suitable solution. 3. Had he the necessary facilities? Hindsight makes it clear that Millikan did have the necessary facilities. The beautiful simplicity of the apparatus he designed might make the experiment appear simple to us now, until you try to repeat it. Then you will marvel at the sheer persistence required to produce so many meaningful results. 4. Design the experiment Three elements of the design are worth special mention.
An introduction to experimental physics by Colin Cooke