Experimental Definition and 12 Discussions

An experiment is a procedure carried out to support or refute a hypothesis. Experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated. Experiments vary greatly in goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results. There also exists natural experimental studies.
A child may carry out basic experiments to understand how things fall to the ground, while teams of scientists may take years of systematic investigation to advance their understanding of a phenomenon. Experiments and other types of hands-on activities are very important to student learning in the science classroom. Experiments can raise test scores and help a student become more engaged and interested in the material they are learning, especially when used over time. Experiments can vary from personal and informal natural comparisons (e.g. tasting a range of chocolates to find a favorite), to highly controlled (e.g. tests requiring complex apparatus overseen by many scientists that hope to discover information about subatomic particles). Uses of experiments vary considerably between the natural and human sciences.
Experiments typically include controls, which are designed to minimize the effects of variables other than the single independent variable. This increases the reliability of the results, often through a comparison between control measurements and the other measurements. Scientific controls are a part of the scientific method. Ideally, all variables in an experiment are controlled (accounted for by the control measurements) and none are uncontrolled. In such an experiment, if all controls work as expected, it is possible to conclude that the experiment works as intended, and that results are due to the effect of the tested variables.

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  1. davidbenari

    A Which condensed matter experiment PhD group is the most fun?

    This is going to be controversial and might even be taken down, but I think what I will say is absolutely true, and I'm sorry if it offends people. I'm applying for the second time to condensed matter PhDs. I was in a group that did a lot of device fabrication as part of their experiments and...
  2. C

    I Finding Experimental Results (AADS/arXiv/etc)

    I'm a physics student in undergrad. For a project in our class in which we propose an experiment (which we will not actually perform and we can use resources we don't have access too for the "experiment") and base it on existing research for that topic. I am searching on ads and arxiv, so far I...
  3. P

    Bachelor's thesis: Theoretical vs Experimental

    Hey PF, In 1 month I am going to start my Bs.c thesis. I already "have" a mentor that is willing to supervise me and a topic. The topic is Bohmian Mechanics. I know its disliked, but that's not why I am asking this question. Tbh I'm not a great student, if I don't like something I will put...
  4. C

    Quantum Books on scattering experiments

    I’ve been self-studying quantum mechanics for a while, and currently looking at scattering theory, using chapters in books by Shankar, Sakurai, and John R. Taylor’s Scattering Theory text. But was wondering if there are any good sources that relate the theory in these books to actual experiments...
  5. kvothe18

    I Linear fitting in physics experiments with errors

    Hello! I have a question that maybe has to do more with Mathematics, but if you do experimental physics you find it quite often. Let's assume that we want to measure two quantities x and y that we know that they relate to each other linearly. So we have a set of data points xi and yi...
  6. Musti XV

    Experimental preparation for IPHO?

    Hello everyone I am a student in the high school and I join the physics Olympiad's team. I am actually good in theoretical physics but on the other hand I can't do any experiment because I'm very bad in the experimental area. I don't know what I have to do and how, in the first round to choose...
  7. A

    Schools What is the best for an experimental particle physicist?

    I'm interested to become an experimental physicist particularly in particle physics. I have the chance to pursue a double degree. what is the best choice that will help me more in my future career.- a double degree in physics and computer science or a double degree in physics and material...
  8. Mohamed_Wael

    Determine the natural frequencies experimentally

    How can we determine the system properties (natural frequencies & damping ratio ) practically using forced vibration? One way is to measure the phase angle, using the bode plot, the exciting frequency corresponding to 90 (deg) phase shift should be the natural frequency, are there any other...
  9. RandomDude123

    Fluid Dynamics - Calculating Coefficient of Drag

    How would one calculate the drag on a projectile (in this case a 1cm3 cube) that was launched at 0°. The vertical drop, initial velocity, distance, and time (taken to travel distance) where measured. I want to say that I could compare these experimental drop (bellow hight that projectile was...
  10. Alettix

    Measuring the Density of Air

    Homework Statement Measure the density if air at normal atmospheric pressure. You can use the following equipment: One scale with an accuracy of 0.01g Two empty glas bottles (≈0,33 liter each) One big bowl with water One cork with a valve and a vacuumpump Homework Equations Not knowing how...
  11. P

    Homemade Cosmic Microwave Background detector

    Hi Guys, I studied physics for my bachelor but still I am not a super expert, although I am still working closely to physics (but not so much astronomy). I was wondering if it would be possible to build a radio, or some other devise (any ideas?) that could be tuned at the frequency where the...
  12. DanielleG

    Experimental Uncertainty - uncertainty in impact position

    Homework Statement The diagram shows the impact of 20 projectiles launched at the same speed and angle. What is the uncertainty in the impact position? (see attached file for picture of diagram) Homework Equations No equations, my lab instructor said through an email that I can get it "just by...