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Looking For Experiments

  1. Jun 6, 2004 #1
    I have recently become interested in physics, and I have been reading different material in magazines and online. I don't want to blindly believe everything I'm "told" without doing some kind of experiment myself to be certain, before I accept these laws and theories. Does anyone know of some experiments I can do (simple-intermediate) that don't require a lot of expensive equiptment? Even simple ones demonstrating classical laws would be appreciated :)

    ps: please don't post about the double-slit experiment, something else thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 6, 2004 #2


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    Zero Down, And Zero Dollars A Month!

    Here is one you can do on the cheap...

    I'm sitting here at my computer in a room without the lights on. I have the blinds partly opened to the outside world, and it is daytime. I put the back of my hand against my nose and look through my fingers toward the window. If I almost choke off the distance between a pair of fingers, I can make out a faint pattern of dark lines running parallel to the edges of my fingers. I believe this tells us that light has a wave-like aspect. (That in no way eliminates the possibility that light also has a particle-like aspect, you understand.)
  4. Jun 6, 2004 #3
    I bought myself a small cheap gyroscope which provided hours of entertainment - oh and maybe taught me some things about angular momentum. Likewise, you can pretty much test most of classical mechanics by bouncing balls around and such.

    It's also quite cheap to do EM sort of things. It's amazing what you can do with a few batteries, a cheap multimeter, some wire, a few other bits and bobs and a lot of ingenuity!

  5. Jun 6, 2004 #4


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    Don't use experimentation as your primary learning tool. If you want to do experiments because they're fun, that's perfectly okay. If we are suggesting experiments to you, then clearly they have been done before and agree with the theory. If you'll only believe stuff you can experimentally verify, you will not get too far in one lifetime. The point of having such a thing as Science is that things you read can be believed, because they have been experimentally verified, and hence gained acceptance.

    I'm not implying that experiments aren't a useful teaching tool. They help consolidate concepts. So, learn the concepts first and if something is unclear, then use an experiment or demos to convince yourself. Don't try to learn physics from a random list of experiments.
  6. Jun 6, 2004 #5
    Here! Here! There has been a big movement towards inquiry-based physics, which to me is a colossal blunder. (My opinion, only)
  7. Jun 8, 2004 #6
    thanx Janitor for the experiment
    Matt- what is a gyroscope??
  8. Jun 8, 2004 #7
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2004
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