Scientific research has always been linked to experiments which help to
prove, disprove, or clarify scientific principles. In this section of
Physics 2000 we will look at some classic experiments in quantum
physics...experiments that demonstrate some of the more bizarre
aspects of physics. The puzzles in some of these experiments are what
helped lead physicists to the breakthroughs of the early 20th Century,
while others are recent experiments which confirm strange predictions made
The classic two-slit experiment was one of the original proofs that
light travels in waves, but newer versions show that light also travels
as particles! This "particle-wave" nature of light gets right to the
heart of quantum weirdness.
Originally predicted by Einstein and Bose, this 1995 experiment by
researchers in Boulder, CO achieved a new state of matter...one
unlike anything else ever seen, at the coldest temperatures in the
The Photoelectric Effect
This results of this experiment was one of the original conundrums that
led to the discovery of quantum physics. Now it is a classic
demonstration of those theories.
The Quantum nature of atoms has a useful feature on a galactic
scale...it allows us to figure out what distant stars (and other
objects) are made of.