Robert P. Crease, a member of the philosophy department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the historian at Brookhaven National Laboratory, recently asked physicists to nominate the most beautiful experiment of all time.


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

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