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1st/2nd year Quantum Lab Experiment

  1. Mar 16, 2006 #1
    Hi all,

    Was wondering if people had any ideas about what I could propose to be a 1st/2nd year (university) level lab experiment related to quantum mechanics. It would be nice to set something up that goes through the fundamental ideas of quantum mechanics.

    Does anyone have any suggestions. It would have to be something that would take about 7 hours.


  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2006 #2


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    There are a number of "standard" experiments at that level:

    1. Photoelectric effect

    2. Spectrum of light from discharge tubes using grating spectrometer

    3. Blackbody radiation.

    Many universities even have their laboratory instructions on these experiments online.

  4. Mar 16, 2006 #3


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    Also electron diffraction and the Franck-Hertz experiment.
  5. Mar 16, 2006 #4
    There is this nice experiment where you shoot a laser beam through a silverplated beam splitter and then redirect the 2 beams with mirrors to another beam splitter. The laser light will come out only on one end of the second beam spillter according to the superposition principle.
  6. Mar 17, 2006 #5
    Stern-Gerlach Experiment...

    You get an inhomogeneous magnetic field and fire a beam of silver ions through it (I'm not sure if one could replace the silver ion beam with, say, a cathode ray) onto a phosphor plate. Classically the distribution of silver ions should be continuous over the plate, due to the ions, classically, being able to take on a continuous range of values for a magnetic moment (i.e. a force resulting from a torque). However, quantum mechanically, the magnetic moment consists of a sum of contributions proportional to the spin and orbital momenta, which are quantised. Thus the beam will be split into the 2s+1 different spin eigen-values. These will be [itex]\pm\frac{1}{2}\hbar[/itex] for a spin half particle, such as the silver ions used in the SG experiment.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2006
  7. Mar 17, 2006 #6
    I remember dowloading and printing a sort of manual on this experiment. It was part of the undergraduate stuff done at MIT I think. (I didn't go there --- just got it online.)

    If I can find the printout, I'll post the link (if that info is on the printout). I remember it being a nice thorough description/treatment.

    Personally, I would prefer one of the experiments using light. The OP can google on this and find at least a few detailed experiments (with component specs and schematics --- everything needed to do an experiment).

    Sorry, but I don't have time to do the search(es) right now.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2006
  8. Mar 18, 2006 #7
    Is the actual Stern-Gerlach procedure tricky does anyone know? I was looking at doing it for a bit of coursework if it's not too hard to put together.
  9. Mar 18, 2006 #8
    What about Double-Slit?
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