• Question: What's the hardest/most confusing experiment you've ever conducted? Did you succeed?

    Asked by YourAverageHottie to Savannah on 12 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Savannah Clawson

      Savannah Clawson answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      This is a super tough question! I think in terms of where my understanding was at the time I did the experiment, one of the hardest experiments that I did was for my A-Level physics coursework. I came up with my own experiment that used ultrasound (high frequency sound waves) to measure the position of a swinging pendulum on a string. I then made graphs of its motion and basically derived the maths of decaying simple harmonic motion – although I didn’t realise that this was what I was doing at the time! Simple harmonic motion is found across all areas of physics so it was pretty cool to rediscover it in my school classroom!
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      I’ve done loads of really interesting experiments over my time at university, including lots of nuclear experiments with radioactive material, but I don’t think I found these as difficult as there were always experts around to help me out when I got stuck. I was completely on my own doing my coursework back in school! I’m sure I will have lots more difficult experiments to get stuck into in the future 😉

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