The Atomic Lab
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 decades ago.
The Two Slit Experiment
This classic 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
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.