Introduction to The ‘why’ and the ‘how’

The art and science of designing experiments Subha Das Mollick Practicals and laboratory work are an inseparable part of any science subject. In the syllabus, 50 percent marks are reserved for practicals. But how are these practical classes held and Read More …

An experiment with falling bodies

Legend has it that Galileo Galilei dropped two weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to prove that objects of different weights fall at the same rate. Historians doubt this claim. They are also sceptical about Galileo’s description in his Read More …

Measuring the smallest unit of charge

Robert A Millikan

It is strange how one thing leads to another. Today, the electron is an accepted fact of life. Even though nobody can vouch that he has seen an electron, scientists have not only found out all its behavioural properties, they have rallied around beams of electrons in CRTs and TV sets and harnessed their behaviour to the benefit of mankind in gadget after gadget.

A famous experiment with a null result

Michelson & Morley

In 1878, the New York Times announced, “It would seem that the scientific world of America is destined to be adorned with a new and brilliant name,” predicting that light would soon be measured “with almost as much accuracy as the velocity of an ordinary projectile.”

A relic of the Big Bang

How was the Universe created? This is one question that has confronted the human mind over thousands of years. Various civilizations, cultures, religions and mythologies have sought to answer this differently. In modern times scientists too had to address this question and they could not arrive at a unique answer all at once.