Showing posts with label Top 10. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Top 10. Show all posts

10 Biopics on Scientists Everyone Should Watch

biopic science scientist biography movies science movies

Biopics are inspiring in ways that other genre of films simply aren't. For one, they capture the essence of a person's life journey. As a result, there is so much to learn from real experience. And two, biopics are a treat for history and cinema buffs.

Lately, science based biographical films are getting popular and obscure scientists are becoming mainstream. A recent news of Cillian Murphy roped in as Robert Oppenheimer for Christopher Nolan's next broke the internet, for example.

Science biopics are amazing as they demonstrate that there is always an unknown narrative behind every life decision made by the scientist. In this post, let us quickly go through 10 best biopics on scientists you should be watching.

Einstein and Eddington

Starring actors David Tennant and Andy Serkis as physicists Arthur Eddington and Albert Einstein respectively, this movie is set against the backdrop of the first World War.

einstein eddington science biopics best science movies

Their collaboration (and friendship) was crucial not only to the birth of modern physics, but to the survival of science as the world prepared for the great war. The powerful climax is very special and is a treat for physics lovers.

The Theory of Everything

Based on a book by Jane Hawking, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, it deals with Stephen's fight against the dreaded motor neuron disease and his relationship with his wife and his work at the Cambridge University. The film stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones in the lead roles.

The Imitation Game

alan turing science biopic imitation game science movies

This movie depicts story of English mathematician and computer scientist, Alan Turing, who builds a machine to crack the secret German enigma code during World War II. The name of the film is taken from Alan Turing's answer to the question, Can machines think?

Radioactive

This 2019 film starring Rosamund Pike as Marie Curie and Sam Riley as Pierre Curie was praised specifically for performance by Pike as a "sincere tribute" to the brilliance of Curie. It portrays Madame Curie's accomplishments, including two Nobel Prizes, and the sacrifices she made along the way.

Infinity

Based on the autobiography of Richard Feynman, What do you care what other people think? describing the role of his father in shaping his character and relationship with the love of his life, Arline, who died of tuberculosis. It stars Matthew Broderick as Feynman and Patricia Arquette as Arline Greenbaum.

October Sky

Released in 1999 starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Laura Dern, this is a film about a coal miner's son who wants to become a NASA engineer, against his father's wishes. This is true story of a former NASA engineer Homer Hickam who was inspired by Russia's Sputnik, a deeply motivational movie for growing minds.

Tesla (2020)

nikola tesla biopic science movies

Starring Ethan Hawke, this biopic is an artsy one as it captures the life and struggle of brilliant but eccentric inventor Nikola Tesla. The movie covers Tesla's initial genius and later tall claims. A brave portrayal of Tesla, that how he was wrong on so many occasions, so Tesla fans might not enjoy. But a science student should give this movie a try.

Agora

Starring Rachel Weisz, this 2009 film covers the life of Hypatia, a mathematician and astronomer in the 4th century. She was among the first to investigate the flaws of Ptolemaic model and support the sun-centric system.
The movie also highlights how religion overpowered scientific endeavor in ancient Europe and how Hypatia desperately tries to save knowledge from the hands of religious dogma.

Hidden Figures

hidden figures biopic science

Inspiring story of three African American mathematician and engineers who worked at NASA during the space race between US and Russia in the 1960s. The film depicts how they have to deal with racial discrimination at work while launching successful space projects.

The man who knew infinity

This is a movie on exceptionally talented young Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and his relationship with his teacher and friend, English mathematician G.H. Hardy. Performances by Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons were praised by audiences and critics alike.

10 TV Shows That Physics Students Will Enjoy

top ten science fiction shows for science students

While there are several movies and documentaries that appeal mainly to science students, there are not a whole lot of TV shows that a science lover can truly enjoy. Thus, here is a list of tried and tested TV shows that physics students will find interesting.


1. Steins; Gate


If you are into science of time travel, then this show is for you. (Plus, there is a lot of action as well.) In the anime, 11 possible theories of time travel have been touched upon - since one of the protagonists is a theoretical physicist.

The show has also made use of grandfather paradox, multiverse theory and separate timelines. You will be intrigued right from the beginning due to eccentricities of the main character - the show is brilliant in every manner possible.

2. Big Bang Theory


Of course, this is a well known comedy show in which three physicists and an engineer grapple with the complexities of life - especially upon the entry of a girl in their lives.

There will be occasional quizzes, cosplays - such as Sheldon dressing up as Doppler Effect - demonstrations and explanations - like Leonard explaining centripetal force.

Sheldon Cooper Doppler Effect ten science shows for science students

Many renowned celebrities such as Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Steve Wozniak have acted in the show. In fact, Hawking made multiple appearances.

So, overall, it is a fun show for every science student. The first four seasons especially keep the scientific aspect of the show intact. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.

3. Star Trek


In Star Trek, we follow the adventures of a space crew whose mission is to explore strange new worlds in the galaxy - as a mater of fact in the entire universe - to be honest. It is a show loved especially by physicists and astronauts.

So much so that physicist Lawrence M. Krauss wrote a book titled: Physics of star trek based upon the series. In one episode of The Next Generation Newton, Einstein and Hawking are filmed playing poker with Data.

ten science shows for science students poker

Many technological marvels such as matter-antimatter generation, transporter, androids, cloaking devices, etc. have been mentioned and made use of in the show. You can catch it on Amazon Prime.

4. Doctor Who


Time travel is just one of the many themes which are included in Doctor Who. The show has pulse-pounding action that will put you on the edge of your seat, but it also makes you think, such as on the nature of reality, consciousness, etc.

In 2014, physicist Brian Cox hosted a lecture on the science of Doctor Who. Biologist Richard Dawkins made an appearance in one episode. Its eminent writers include Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat and Neil Gaiman.

ten science shows that science students should watch

The show's protagonist frequents between the past and the future. Thus, stories of various historical figures such as William Shakespeare, Ada Lovelace, Rosa Parks, Charles Babbage, Vincent Van Gogh, etc. have been covered in the show.

As far as tomorrow is concerned, writers have shown dystopian future on many occasions and technologically superior space faring human civilization as well.

Apart from science and science fiction the show has also ventured into supernatural, horror and thriller genre. This makes Doctor Who the most versatile science show of all time. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.

5. Young Sheldon


If you're a budding scientist who enjoys family comedies then Young Sheldon on Amazon Prime is for you. As the title suggests the show is based on stories from Sheldon Cooper's childhood. Its themes include science, education, adolescence, family and religion.

6. Dr. Stone


This show is set in post-apocalyptic Earth when humankind has lost most of its technology and resources to Stone. Our genius protagonist is on a mission to redevelop items of everyday use. So it's like watching Bear Grylls in Man VS Wild except that it's Bill Nye in place of Bear Grylls.

7. Black Mirror


It is a dystopian science fiction show in which we delve into the relationship between science, society and technology; that how technology has reduced our freedom, diminished our privacy, etc. If you are accepting of dark humor, satire and dystopia then this is for you.

8. Rick and Morty


This is animated TV show in which we follow the adventures of mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his grandson Morty Smith. The main characters and themes of the show seem to be inspired by Back to the future and Doctor who respectively.

Stories revolve around various scientific topics such as multiverse theory, alien life, mind bending parasites, robots, etc. while also taking into account philosophies such as cosmicism and nihilism.

9. Battlestar Galactica


This action packed show is based upon the bittersweet relationship between humans and artificial intelligence. What does it mean to be human? Its main theme is that, along with a desperate search for home planet - such as Earth - because humans are on the run for their lives after losing war against the great warrior robots, Cylons.

10. The Expanse


Real world science sets this science fiction apart from all the rest. The showrunner Naren Shankar was once an engineer by profession; he also has a PhD. Like all Indians deciding not to be an engineer anymore he then ventured into writing.

The Expanse which you can watch on Amazon Prime is a beautiful combination of space engineering and fiction. It has some of the best physics-based spaceflight and combat and an engaging story as well, according to one viewer.

10 Nobel Prize Winning Families In Science

nobel prize winning father son couples in science

The Nobel Prize is the most prestigious award given for intellectual achievement in the world. While there have been several controversial snubs, few have also gone on to win multiple prizes. This, is a list of 10 famous Nobel laureate families of the world.

Curie family


You may already know that Marie Curie and Pierre Curie have jointly won the Nobel Prize in physics. Their daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie received the Prize in chemistry, sharing it with her husband Frédéric Joliot-Curie.

Marie Curie was awarded one more Prize for work done in chemistry thus taking their family total to five Nobel Prizes.

Niels and Aage Bohr


This father and son duo has won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1922 and 1975 respectively. Niels Bohr was awarded for his services in the investigation of atomic structure and Aage Bohr won for describing the structure of atomic nucleus.

father son niels bohr aage bohr nobel prize father's day
Credit: Science photo library

Raman and beyond


In 1930, C.V. Raman became India's first Nobel laureate in physics. His nephew Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was awarded in 1983 for explaining the evolution of stars. In 2009, another Tamilian Venki Ramakrishnan won the Prize only this time in chemistry.

Thomson family


J.J. Thomson got the 1906 Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery of electron, the first subatomic particle to be found. His son, George Paget Thomson was recognized by the Nobel Committee in 1937 for showing that electron behaved like a wave.

Arthur and Roger Kornberg


Roger was only 12 years old when he saw his father Arthur Kornberg receive the most coveted Prize in 1959. Then, 47 years later, Roger won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for explaining how information is copied from DNA to RNA.

Euler family


Hans von Euler-Chelpin, distantly related to mathematician Leonhard Euler, was a biochemist who won the 1929 Nobel Prize in chemistry. His son Ulf von Euler was a physiologist who won the Prize in medicine for work done on neurotransmitters.

Manne and Kai Siegbahn


This father and son duo was an expert on spectroscopy. Manne Siegbahn won the Nobel Prize in physics for pioneering work done in x-ray spectroscopy. Whereas his son Kai Siegbahn won the same Prize for developing a new method of electron spectroscopy.

Bragg family


William and Lawrence Bragg were jointly awarded the 1915 Nobel Prize for their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of x-rays. Lawrence is thus far the youngest ever laureate in physics. The father-son duo also have a crystal named after them – Braggite.

May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser


The Curies are not the only couples that have won the Nobel Prize. In 2014, Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser received the Prize in medicine for the discovery of grid cells. These are neurons which provide a coordinate system to the brain and thus help an animal navigate in space.

Carl Ferdinand and Gerty Cori


Another Nobel Prize winning couple: Gerti Corie was the third woman to win a Nobel Prize in science. The biochemist duo shared the 1947 Prize in medicine for their discovery of glycogen.

10 Best Carl Sagan Quotes On Science And Life

Top 10 Relevant Carl Sagan Quotes To Modern Life

Carl Sagan was the man who brought astronomy into our living rooms with his masterpiece, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which was viewed by over 500 million people around the world!

As a scientist, he contributed enormously to our understanding of the solar system. He correctly predicted the existence of methane lakes on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. When other astronomers had imagined Venus to be a mild summery paradise, Carl showed it to be dry, thick and unpleasantly hot.


He also predicted life on Venus in 1967 and we may be close to proving him right. Not just it, Carl Sagan played a leading role in every major spacecraft mission to explore the solar system in the 20th century: Mariner, Viking, Voyager, you name it!

Although Carl died quite young (had he been alive, he'd be celebrating his 86th birthday in 2020), his ideas and thoughts will remain with us for-ever. Let us have a look at 10 Carl Sagan quotes which are relevant to modern times, shall we?

On climate change


goa protest environment climate change carl sagan quotes
Protest in Goa

Carl says: Our intelligence and our technology have given us the power to affect the climate. How will we use this power? Are we willing to tolerate ignorance and complacency in matters that affect the entire human family? Do we value short-term advantages above the welfare of the Earth? Or will we think on longer time scales, with concern for our children and our grandchildren, to understand and protect the complex life-support systems of our planet? The Earth is a tiny and fragile world. It needs to be cherished.

On life elsewhere


All my life, I've wondered about life beyond the earth. On those countless other planets that we think circle other suns, is there also life? Might the beings of other worlds resemble us, or would they be astonishingly different? What would they be made of? In the vast Milky Way galaxy, how common is what we call life? The nature of life on earth and the quest for life elsewhere are the two sides of the same question: the search for who we are.

On science and politics


We can’t just conclude that science puts too much power into the hands of morally feeble technologists or corrupt, power-crazed politicians and decide to get rid of it. Advances in medicine and agriculture have saved more lives than have been lost in all the wars in history. Advances in transportation, communication, and entertainment have transformed the world. The sword of science is double-edged.

Ten Greatest Carl Sagan Quotes Relevant To Modern Times

On afterlife

He says: I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.


The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.

On cannabis


The cannabis experience has greatly improved my appreciation for art, a subject which I had never much appreciated before. The understanding of the intent of the artist which I can achieve when high sometimes carries over to when I'm down. This is one of many human frontiers which cannabis has helped me traverse. There also have been some art-related insights — I don't know whether they are true or false, but they were fun to formulate.

On experiment


Our perceptions may be distorted by training and prejudice or merely because of the limitations of our sense organs, which, of course, perceive directly but a small fraction of the phenomena of the world.

Even so straightforward a question as whether in the absence of friction a pound of lead falls faster than a gram of fluff was answered incorrectly by Aristotle and almost everyone else before the time of Galileo.

Science is based on experiment, on a willingness to challenge old dogma, on an openness to see the universe as it really is. Accordingly, science sometimes requires courage—at the very least the courage to question the conventional wisdom.

On god


The idea that a God or gods is necessary to effect one or more of these origins has been under repeated attack over the last few thousand years. Because we know something about phototropism and plant hormones, we can understand the opening of the morning glory independent of divine micro-intervention. It is the same for the entire skein of causality back to the origin of the universe. As we learn more and more about the universe, there seems less and less for God to do.

ten powerful carl sagan quotes that will make you cry
Recommended science documentaries

On our place in the cosmos


We are the local embodiment of a Cosmos grown to self-awareness. We have begun to contemplate our origins: starstuff pondering the stars; organized assemblages of ten billion billion billion atoms considering the evolution of atoms; tracing the long journey by which, here at least, consciousness arose. Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.

On the future

I worry that, especially as the Millennium edges nearer, pseudo-science and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive. Where have we heard it before? Whenever our ethnic or national prejudices are aroused, in times of scarcity, during challenges to national self-esteem or nerve, when we agonize about our diminished cosmic place and purpose, or when fanaticism is bubbling up around us-then, habits of thought familiar from ages past reach for the controls. The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.

On books


The whole idea of what happens when you read a book, I find absolutely stunning. Here's some product of a tree, little black squiggles on it, you open it up, an inside your head is the voice of someone speaking, who may have been dead 3000 years, and there he is talking directly to you, what a magical thing that is.

10 Real Scientists On The Big Bang Theory

Real Life Geniuses Who Appeared on The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory had a successful run on TV having broadcast a total 279 episodes over the course of twelve years. The show was centered around the lives of Caltech physicists Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter, Indian-origin astrophysicist Rajesh Koothrappali and MIT-trained engineer and astronaut Howard Wolowitz.

While them four were reel-life scientific people, did you know that they had the pleasure of sharing the screen time with actual geniuses in the field? This post is a list of extraordinarily intelligent personalities in sciences and technology who made casual appearances on the longest running sit-com.


George Smoot

He is an American Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist who is known for his work on the cosmic microwave background radiation. He did a cameo in season two episode The Terminator Decoupling. Smoot had admitted in an interview that he was a fan of the show's often physics-based plots.

Sheldon: "You won the Nobel Prize what, three years ago? You must be dealing with a whole lot of, what has Smoot done lately?" So I thought.. we continue my research, as a team and when we win the Nobel Prize, you will be back on top!"

Real Life Geniuses Who Appeared on The Big Bang Theory

George has also written a joke for the episode The Dead Hooker Juxtaposition which is told by Penny. He appeared again in the last season on the episode The Laureate Accumulation.


Mayim Bialik

She played the role of Amy Farrah Fowler on the show from season four onwards. Mayim has a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA so she's the real-life doctor among the cast members. Neuroscientists study the development and function of the brain.

Real Life Geniuses Who Appeared on The Big Bang Theory

For her role as Fowler, Mayim has been nominated four times for the Primetime Emmy Award. She has also acted as scientific consultant for the show along with professor David Saltzberg of UCLA.


Brian Greene

Brian Greene is an American theoretical physicist, mathematician, and string theorist who is the chairman of the World Science Festival since co-founding it in 2008. He appeared in the episode The Herb Garden Germination speaking to a small crowd about the contents of his most recent book.

Real Life Geniuses Who Appeared on The Big Bang Theory

Greene's area of research is string theory which is a candidate for the theory of everything. He is most well known for his popular books such as The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of the Cosmos and The Hidden Reality.


Elon Musk

He is the renowned South African-American engineer and technology entrepreneur who has founded companies like PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX. Musk appeared in an episode as himself volunteering at a soup kitchen with Howard Wolowitz.

Real Life Geniuses Who Appeared on The Big Bang Theory

Musk asks if Howard ever thinks about going back into space. Howard lights up: “Is that a job offer? Cuz I really want to go to Mars!” Musk tells him, “We’re not quite there yet, but we’re always looking for engineers, so let me give you my email, and we can stay in touch.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Popular American astrophysicist and science communicator first appeared on the show alongside Rajesh Koothrapalli. Sheldon just happened to stop by and they exchange a friendly banter. He is quite unhappy with Tyson's role in the demotion of Pluto from planetary status.

Real Life Geniuses Who Appeared on The Big Bang Theory

In season 12, Neil and Raj get caught up in a Twitter war in which he called Neil "Mike Tyson's little sister." Neil, enraged, goes on to phone Rajesh and challenges him to a face to face duel, "I am the guy who kicked Pluto out of the solar system," he says.


Bill Nye

He is an American science educator who studied mechanical engineering at Cornell University in 1977. His enthusiasm for science deepened after meeting astronomer Carl Sagan. Bill Nye became well known as "The Science Guy" and for his other appearances on television.

Real Life Geniuses Who Appeared on The Big Bang Theory

He guest starred in episode The Proton Displacement. Sheldon Cooper befriends Nye and brings him in to teach Leonard Hofstader a lesson after Professor Proton, played by Bob Newhart, helps Leonard with an experiment instead of Sheldon.

Steve Wozniak

American electronics engineer and programmer who co-founded the Apple Computers company in 1976 which went on to become the largest company in the world..

Real Life Geniuses Who Appeared on The Big Bang Theory

While dining in The Cheesecake Factory where Penny works, Woz is approached by Sheldon via telepresence on a self-made robot. Leonard tries to explain to Penny who Wozniak is, but she says she already knows him from Dancing with the Stars.


Stephen Hawking

He was an English theoretical physicist, probably the most famous genius of the modern age, best known for Hawking radiation. Hawking had a recurring role in the show having appeared a total six times. The first cameo is the funniest when Sheldon goes to great lengths to meet his hero. When the moment comes, Sheldon messes up big time and faints!

Real Life Geniuses Who Appeared on The Big Bang Theory

He was a fan of The Big Bang Theory since season one and requested to watch a rehearsal. Howard Wolowitz does an impression of Hawking's voice in the episode; Simon Helberg who plays the character felt slightly uncomfortable mimicking Hawking but Hawking seemed to enjoy the impression.

Kip Thorne

He is an American Nobel Prize winning physicist who appeared in the final season of the show. After their Nobel prize competitors, Pemberton and Campbell, go on a publicity tour, Sheldon and Amy seek support from a trio of Nobel laureates which included Kip Thorne.

Real Life Geniuses Who Appeared on The Big Bang Theory


Frances Arnold

She is an American Nobel Prize winning chemist and engineer who appeared in the same season as Kip Thorne as one of the laureates whose support Amy and Sheldon seek.

Real Life Geniuses Who Appeared on The Big Bang Theory

10 Examples of Physics From Everyday Life

law of inertia of motion

Not every student will grow up and study physics on a deeper level, but physics extends well into our daily life, describing the motion, forces and energy of ordinary experience. Therefore, it should be possible to illustrate to anyone the physics of everyday life, with examples of course.


Image formation

Have you noticed that when standing inside a room at night, you can often see your reflection in a pane of glass? In similar way, because there is much less light coming from the bottom of a lake, the surface of the lake will act like a mirror.

reflection of light

But an image can also be formed by refraction. A fish seen in the water will usually appear to be at a different depth than it actually is, due to the refraction of light rays as they travel from the water into the air.

refraction of light virtual image

Lastly, there exist phenomena which appear due to combination of reflection and refraction. For example, a rainbow is seen when light passes through water droplets hanging in the atmosphere. The light bends, or refracts, as it enters the droplet, and then reflects off the inside of the raindrop.

how rainbow forms after rain


Washing machine

The dryer of washing machine is a rapidly rotating container that applies centrifugal force to its contents. The centrifugal force acts in a direction away from the centre and hence can be used to throw the water molecules on the clothes radially outwards during the spin cycle of the washing machine.


Static electricity

When two objects that are not good electrical conductors are rubbed together, electrons from one of the objects rub off onto the other.

static electricity funny images animated

The more rubbing between two objects, the more static electricity build up and the larger the electrical charge.


Road safety

When brakes are applied to a moving car, the car and lower portions of the passengers attached to the car come to immediate stop, but their upper portions fall forwards, because of inertia. This is why seat belts as well as air bags are installed in the car.

inertia safety belts in car


Roller coaster

The first hill of the ride is always the highest one so that the car collects enough energy to go through all the elevations. As the car goes down, its potential energy decreases but kinetic energy increases. If added together at any part of the ride, the kinetic and potential energies of the car will equal the potential energy that the car had on the first hill.


Spinning

When the figure skater draws her arms and a leg inward, she reduces her moment of inertia thus rotating at a faster angular speed. This is due to conservation of angular momentum.

angular momentum figure skating


Handle of the door

If you apply force close to the hinge of the door, the door will not open as it will not be able to rotate about the hinge. But, when you apply the same force farther away from the hinge, the torque will be larger. Hence, the door opens easily with less effort.


Falling down

Suppose you are climbing a tree, and suddenly you slip and fall down from the tree. Then, you may break a bone or two. But if same thing happens to a little ant, that is, if it falls down from height, it does not get hurt. Why is it so?

From ant’s point of view, the atmosphere is thick and viscous and its experience of falling from a height is similar to ours when we fall through water to the bottom of the pool. The air underneath the falling ant becomes like a large cushion of safety.


Roundness

Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman explains why little drops of water are round in the following video.



Sound game

When a water bottle fills up, the air column or amount of air inside the bottle decreases. As a result, the pitch (or shrillness) of the sound will increase, as it is inversely proportional to the length of vibrating air column. Therefore, you can tell exactly when the bottle is full without even looking.



Summing up

It is hard to imagine of life without physics. Even though one may not be equipped with the kind of mathematics required to fully understand these physical phenomena, one can surely appreciate the fact that they are there. Lots of other examples are available and you just need the eye to recognize them.

Top 10 Experiments in Physics History

all time top 10 experiments conducted in physics
large hadron collider

Physics is an exploratory science. New experiments in physics change or expand our existing knowledge in one way or another. Let us find out how this has happened in history.



10. Galileo's Tower of Pisa experiment

Before Galileo, a majority of people used to follow the teachings of ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who had proclaimed that different weights when dropped from same height experienced different amounts of attraction from the Earth thus falling at different speeds.

It is said that in 1589 Galileo climbed atop Tower of Pisa and dropped two objects of different masses in order to debunk Aristotelian belief.

all time top 10 experiments conducted in physics

In 1971, astronaut David Scott re-created Galileo's famous experiment on the moon by dropping a hammer and a feather simultaneously. You can watch it happen in this clip.


9. Faraday's law of induction

A sudden movement of a magnet through a coil produces a reading on the galvanometer meaning that a changing magnetic field can induce an electric current in the coil.

top 10 experiments conducted in physics

This observation was first made by Michael Faraday in the year 1831. Today, electric generators use the same principle to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy that powers our household electric appliances.


8. Michelson Morley experiment

Does light, like other waves, require a medium to travel? Scientists of the 19th century thought so. They proposed the existence of an invisible stationary substance permeating through all of space that they named aether.

top 10 experiments conducted in physics

In the 1880s, American physicist Albert Michelson thought of discovering the aether.

If aether really exists, Earth moving through it would cause a wind in the same way that there seems to be a wind outside a moving car.


To a person in the car, the air outside the car would seem like a moving substance. In the same way, aether should seem like a moving substance to things on Earth.

Michelson designed an interferometer to measure the speed of the "aether wind" in 1887 along with one of his colleagues, Edward Morley.

top 10 experiments conducted in physics

However, no aether wind was detected by the experimental setup making it the most famous failed experiment in history. But, it had been shown that light required no substance medium whatsoever to travel in space.


7. Double slit experiment

Newton believed that light was a stream of energy-carrying particles. But he was proven wrong by Thomas Young, in 1801, who demonstrated with experiment that light was a wave.

top 10 experiments conducted in physics

In this experiment, when light emitted from two sources is forced to interfere, an unexpected pattern is formed on a distant screen. This interference pattern can be explained by wave theory of light only.


6. Discovery of electron

The atom was greatly regarded as the smallest possible structure in the universe. In 1897, however, Joseph Thomson performed a groundbreaking experiment suggesting that atom was divisible.

top 10 experiments conducted in physics

Thomson used a cathode ray tube, which is a vacuum-sealed glass tube with a cathode and anode fixed inside it. A beam of electrons was observed to move from one end to another upon the application of high voltage.

Thomson also identified that electron was not electrically neutral because he observed a deflection in the beam when an external electric field was applied.


5. Photoelectric effect

top 10 experiments conducted in physics

In 1887, German experimental physicist Heinrich Hertz stumbled upon an amazing phenomenon, the photoelectric effect. He discovered that certain metal electrodes when illuminated by the UV light produced electric sparks.

Two decades later, Einstein proposed an explanation of the photoelectric effect using a concept first put forward by Max Planck that light waves consist of tiny bundles or packets of energy known as photons or quanta.


4. Davisson Germer experiment

top 10 experiments conducted in physics

It was proposed by physicist Louis de Broglie that matter had particle as well as wave nature simultaneously. Davisson and Germer set about to test de Broglie's hypothesis in laboratory.

If electron could behave like a wave, it could interfere with another electron wave much like the light waves do. In 1925, the duo succeeded in obtaining interference pattern.

top 10 experiments conducted in physics


3. Gravity probe b

This was a satellite-based experiment which was launched on 20 April, 2004 by NASA. Its mission was to measure the space-time curvature around the earth as proposed by Einstein. Total cost of this project was about $750 million.

top 10 experiments conducted in physics

This was accomplished by measuring the tiny changes in the direction of spin of four gyroscopes contained in the satellite. Initial results confirmed the expected geodetic effect to an accuracy of about 1%.

2. Higgs boson discovery

The Higgs field is a field of energy that is thought to exist in every region of the universe. The field is accompanied by a fundamental particle known as the Higgs boson, which is used by the field to continuously interact with other particles, such as the electron.

top 10 experiments conducted in physics
Higgs interaction

In 2012, the particle was finally discovered. Peter Higgs became a worldwide sensation and a Nobel Prize winner.


1. LIGO experiment

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory is a large-scale physics observatory which was designed to detect cosmic gravitational waves as predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity.

top 10 experiments conducted in physics

By 2017, LIGO had made five detections of gravitational waves, the first four of which were because of colliding black hole pairs. The fifth event, on August 17, 2017, was the first detection of a collision of two neutron stars.

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