Physics 585 – Null Tests – Autumn 2017

Coordinator/instructor: Charlie Hagedorn ( )
image: 0_home_charlie_physics585Docs_Waterfall18.jpg
"Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there."
Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu - Chapter 11
(translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English)


We once were scrounging for a quarterly CENPA journal club topic when Julieta Gruszko suggested, “What about precision null tests?” There were instant murmurs of assent all around.
While it is a broad topic, null tests are central to most physics experiments performed at CENPA. A null test is an experiment that “measures zero”, an attempt to measure something for which the prevailing theory predicts no signal. If a signal is present, the theory requires refinement.


Wednesdays, 4 pm. CENPA (North Physics Lab) conference room, Room 178. It is directly inside the front entrance.


This is an ungraded course for one credit. Students attending for credit will be required to present one paper and turn in one written question per week prior to each week's discussion.


The schedule below is approximate and updated frequently. Each week's presenter may choose a paper from the suggestions below or select a related paper. If you'd like to present for a particular week, or if there's a paper you'd like to see added, please email Charlie.
Presenters should email out their paper selection by Friday afternoon on the week preceding the class meeting.

Possible Topics:

Sound awesome? Great! Sign up for the class!