10 Most Beautiful Scientific Experiments - Essay Example

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Besides, it shows the probabilistic feature of quantum mechanical phenomena. In this experiment, the wave is divided into two distinct beams of waves…
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10 Most Beautiful Scientific Experiments
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10 Most Beautiful Scientific Experiments The double –slit experiment The double-slit experiment proved that both matter andlight can exhibit features of classically defined particles and waves. Besides, it shows the probabilistic feature of quantum mechanical phenomena. In this experiment, the wave is divided into two distinct beams of waves that afterward merge back into one beam wave. An interference pattern is formed by changes in the path lengths of both beams of waves that lead to a phase shift. A harmonized source of light for instance, a laser beam illuminates a plate cut by two parallel slits. Light passes through the slits and then is seen on the screen at the back of the plate. The wave nature of light makes the light waves going through the 2 slits to interfere thereby producing bright and dark bands in the screen. Light is always absorbed at the screen at separate points as individual particles demonstrating the interference pattern by the use of particles of varying densities (The New York Times). This experiment can be performed in different versions including use of detectors at the slits where each detected photon passes through the slit but not through both slits thereby demonstrating the wave-particle duality principle. This experiment demonstrated that the light consists of waves. This could be seen by the way brightness is distributed, which can be explained by alternately subtractive and additive interference of wave-fronts. The experiment played a vital role in the acceptance of the wave theory of light.
The oil drop experiment was used to measures the elementary charge of the electron. The gravitational force and buoyant forces were determined from the observed radii of oil drop. The experiment confirmed that the charge of oil droplets in mechanical equilibrium which is −1.5924 (17)×10−19 C, in the range of one percent of the presently accepted value of −1.602176487(40)×10−19 C (The New York Times). This was the charge of one electron.
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The New York Times. Sciences 10 Most Beautiful Physics Experiments. 21 August 2011. 28
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