The Top Eleven is now complete. Here’s the full list of experiments, with links to my summaries:
- Galileo Galilei: ~1610: Discovery of the moons of Jupiter, and measurements of the acceleration of falling objects.
- Ole Roemer ~1675: Measurement of the speed of light by timing the eclipses of Io.
- Isaac Newton ~1700: Dispersion of light and measurements of circulating fluids.
- Henry Cavendish, ~1797: Measurement of the gravitational constant G.
- Michael Faraday ~1831: Discovery of electromagnetic induction.
- Michelson and Morley ~1887: Disproving the existence of the luminiferous aether.
- Heinrich Hertz ~1888: Creation and detection of electromagnetic waves.
- Ernest Rutherford ~1909: Discovery of the nucleus of the atom.
- Edwin Hubble ~1929: Determination of the distance to galaxies, and measurement of the expansion of the universe.
- Rudolf Mössbauer ~1957: Discovery of the Mössbauer Effect and gamma-ray spectroscopy.
- Alain Aspect ~1981: Experimental tests of Bell’s Inequality.
Happily, and not at all coincidentally, I’m going out of town for the weekend, so this is the perfect time for a vote. Pick your favorite experiment, and leave a comment to this post saying which one you vote for. One vote per commenter, please, and make sure your choice is clearly indicated.
Voting will remain open at least through Sunday night. The winner (as determined by me) gets declared the Greatest Experiment in Physics. Tell your friends, relatives, and graduate students, and get out the vote.