Science’s 10 Most Beautiful Experiments

Interested in finding “the most beautiful physics experiment of all time”, Robert P. Crease (a member of the philosophy department at the State University of New York and the historian at Brookhaven National Laboratory) asked physicist to nominate their favourites.

The New York Times duly compiled the results, but rather than visiting their un-scannable list, here are the results with links to the appropriate Wikipedia page:

  1. Young’s double-slit experiment applied to the interference of single electrons
  2. Galileo’s experiment on falling objects
  3. Millikan’s oil-drop experiment
  4. Newton’s decomposition of sunlight with a prism
  5. Young’s light-interference experiment
  6. Cavendish’s torsion-bar experiment
  7. Eratosthenes’ measurement of the Earth’s circumference
  8. Galileo’s experiments with rolling balls down inclined planes
  9. Rutherford’s discovery of the nucleus
  10. Foucault’s pendulum