Nov 2016

The Top 10 Greatest Physics Experiments Of All Time

November 30, 2016


Experiments form the backbone of science. It is through experiments that many theories in science have been discovered, proved and evolved into fundamental facts. While it is true that most of the science we have today is theoretical, it was experiments along histories that led to major milestones in science, especially in Physics.

Physics tuition in Singapore will enhance student’s interest when they learn about experiments that led to major milestones in Physics.  Here are the top 10 greatest physics experiments of all time that have shed light on some of the mysteries that surround us.

1. Galileo Galilei’s Experiment on Speed of Falling Objects

Before Galileo, Aristotle had argued that heavy objects fall at a faster rate than lighter objects. But Galileo who is famed for his work on gravity, motion and light proved that objects fall at the same speed irrespective of their weight. He demonstrated this with a stone and feather experiment.

2. James Prescott Joule‘s Energy Conservation Experiment

This experiment conducted in 1840 demonstrated that conservation of energy is nothing but a conversion of energy from one form to another. He found that Energy lost = energy gained is another way and you can’t create or destroy energy, but you can change it from one form into another.

3. Isaac Newton’s Discovery of Light Spectrum

Isaac Newton placed a triangle glass (prism) along his window and split sunlight into many colors, this experiment done in 1672 is a landmark revelation that led onto many other interesting and essential discoveries about the light spectrum and its properties.

4. Henry Cavendish’s Earth Density Experiment

Demonstrated in 1798, this popular experiment with only 4 balls and 2 sticks achieved the impossible task of weighing the world via the measurement of Earth’s density.

5. Hippolyte Fizeau’s Experiment on Light Speed

In 1851, Fizeau managed to measure the speed at which light travels using a simple gear wheel and mirrors. Thou it is approximately 5% off the actual speed, it’s amazing at that time and has built a foundation for Léon Foucault whom improved the experiment and more accurately calculated the speed of light. Most of the mysteries of physics are easily cracked with simple experiments just as Fizeau’s.

6.Robert Millikan’s Measurement of the Charge of Electron

In 1909, American scientist Millikan found that the measure of an electron’s charge could be evaluated by using metal plates, transparent chamber, and a few oil drops. By measuring the velocity between power off and on, he discovered the charge on the electron and won himself the Nobel Prize in Physics.

7. Enrico Fermi’s Nuclear Chain Reaction Experiment

In 1942, Enrico Fermi fired an uncharged neutron to Uranium 235 to form Uranium 236, the additional neutrons generated went on to hit other Uranium 235, causing a nuclear chain reaction, which has unearthed potentially dangerous and at the same time beneficial revelations about nuclear energy. E=MC^2 is the famous formula responsible for this chain reaction.

8. Rutherford’s Gold Foil Experiment

In 1909, Rutherford with the aid of Geiger and Marsden, discovered the atomic structure as we know it today with a core nucleus and electrons around it by firing positively charged particles at a sheet of gold foil.

9. Rosalind Franklin DNA Radiographs

Franklin’s photo of X-ray diffraction had thrown light on immense and critical information regarding DNA structure using a similar concept to shadow puppetry.

10. Foucault’s Pendulum Experiment

This experiment done in 1851 in Paris demonstrated the all-important revolving movement of earth on its own axis. Researchers have since confirmed about 24 hours as the oscillation period.
As you can see that what we have taken for granted about various elements around us has actually been discovered through several trial and errors by great physicists.  Being tutored in JC Physics tuition will give students a great opportunity to learn in-depth all they need to know about physics and more, so they shine in the subject and score high grades.

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