By Colin Cooke
Knowing, designing and carrying out experiments is on the center of technology. this article introduces the elemental ideas on which physicists should still construct an intensive experimental method of their discipline.
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Additional resources for An introduction to experimental physics
Nor must arrogance be part of your armour, since it is most unlikely that you will say the last word on any issue in science. One question that we will discuss later is the efficient use of time in performing experiments. These often take a long time to complete so that it is worth developing an attitude that seeks the quickest route to a particular end, rather than just drifting along in a haphazard manner. Steps along the way We will start with a list of the necessary steps, discuss each in general terms, and then apply the ideas to particular experiments: 30 DESIGN OF EXPERIMENTS 1.
This produces a piece of equipment called an X-Y plotter. Because of the common features between these devices it is hardly surprising that some pieces of equipment incorporate a switch to provide either function. Finally, the next logical step is to put the signal into a computer, which can do all that a pen recorder or an X-Y plotter can do, with the extra facility of making calculations and statistical analyses. The danger then is that one is spoilt for choice in the method of displaying the results of an experiment, and you have to think carefully which is most appropriate.
1 mK. Examples of measurement of nuclear radiation The three experiments described below illustrate the progression you might see in studying one topic in experimental physics, nuclear radiation. The first uses a Geiger tube to investigate whether the decay of a strontium-90 source follows the predicted Poisson distribution. The second shows that interfacing this equipment to a computer removes the tedium of collecting, displaying and analyzing the data. Finally, a scintillation counter is used to measure the energy and angular distributions of γ rays scattered from a metal rod in order to investigate Compton scattering.
An introduction to experimental physics by Colin Cooke