Physics is an experimental science since it studies the fundamental laws of nature by direct experimentation The first step in becoming an accomplished physicist is mastering of the techniques of physical experimentation.
Continuing our rendezvous with the Science for Everyone series, we now see a new volume titled Physics in Your Kitchen Lab, which is edited by Academician I. K. Kikoin.
This book is a collection of articles from the Russian journal Kvant (Quantum). All the issues of Kvant are available freely online in Russian here, and the official website is here. As far as I know, there are no translations available. May be in the future I will try to create an interface wherein we can translate the articles, into many Indian languages. Actually the Science for Everyone series was originally published in the Russian by series named The Library of Kvant. The preface by the editors makes the purpose of the book very clear.
Physics is an experimental science since it studies the fundamental laws of nature by direct experimentation. The experimenter asks questions of nature in any experimental work, but only correctly formulated questions are answered. This means that unless a physical experiment is set up correctly, the experimenter will not get the desired results. An experimenter’s skill, therefore, depends on his ability to formulate experiments correctly. The experimental physics is a fascinating science, which enables us to understand, explain and, sometimes, even discover new phenomena in nature. The first step in becoming an accomplished physicist is mastering of the techniques of physical experimentation.
Modern experimental physics uses very sophisticated and expensive apparatus, housed, for the most part, in large research institutes and laboratories where many of the readers of this book may one day conduct their own original research. Until then, however, the engaging experiments described in this book can be performed right at home. Most of the experiments included here were first published separately in the journal Kvant. Just as “a picture is worth a thousand words”, an experiment once performed is worth a thousand descriptions of one. It is recommended, therefore, that readers perform the experiments described themselves. The means for this are readily available, and it should soon become obvious that experimentation is a captivating pastime. The experiments presented here need not be confining; they may be varied and expanded, providing, i n this way, an opportunity for real scientific investigation.
The book is dedicated to Georgii Ivanovich Kosourov, one of the founding fathers of Kvant. Kosourov, who edited the experimental section of the journal in its first year of publication,
has contributed several very interesting articles to this collection. Among the other authors of this book are a number of famous physicists, as well as young researchers just beginning their careers. We hope this book will fascinate not only students already interested in physics who intend to make it their lifework but also the friends to whom they demonstrate the experiments in a laboratory made right at home.
You can get the book here.
Thanks Anish.Dot for this book.
Update: 17 December 2015 | Added Internet Archive Link
The editorial board of this book is like a roll call of distinguished physicists:
Academician I.K. Kikoin (chairman),
Academician A.N. Kolmogorov (deputy chairman),
I.Sh. Slobodetskii (scientific secretary), Cand. So. (Phys.-Math.),
Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR A.A. Ahrikosov,
Academician B.K. Vainstein,
Honoured teacher of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic B.V. Vozdvizhenskii,
Academician V.M. Glushkov,
Academician P.L. Kapitsa,
Prof. S.P. Kapitsa,
Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR Yu.A. Osipyan,
Corresponding member of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the USSR V.G. Razumovskii,
Academician R.Z. Sagdeev,
Academician M.L. Smolyanski,
Cand. Sc. (Chem.), Prof. Ya.A. Smorodinskii,
Academician S.L. Sobolev,
Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR D.K. Phaddeev,
Corresponding member of the Academy of Sclences of the USSR I.S. Shklovskii.
The collection of articles is really great, though I have not tried all the experiments 🙂 The book was translated from the Russian by A. Zilberman and published by Mir first in 1985. Following is the list of experiments:
Editor’s Note 7
A Demonstration of Weightlessness 9 by A . Dozorou
A Cartesian Diver 12 by A . Vilenkin
An Automatic Siphon 13 by V . Mayer and N . Nazarov
Vortex Rings17 by R . W . Wood
On Vortex Rings 23 by S. Shabanov and V. Shubin
Tornado Models 33 by V. Mayer
The Aerodynamics of Boomerangs 37 by Felix Hess
A Hydrodynamic Mechanism in a Falling Test Tube 51 by G.Z. Pokrovsky
An Instructive Experiment with a Cumulative Jet 53 by V. Mayer
Magic with Physics 56 by V . Mayer and E . Mamaeva
A Drop on a Hot Surface 58 by M . Golubev and A . Kagalenko
Surface Tension Draws a Hyperbola 61 by I. Vorobiev
Experiments with a Spoonful of Broth 64 by V. Mayer
How to Grow a Crystal 71 by M. Kliya
Crystals Made of Spheres 74 by G. Kosourov
A Bubble Model of Crystal 85 by Yo. Geguzin
Determining the Poles of a Magnet 99 by B. Aleinikov
A Peculiar Pendulum 101 by N. Minz
Lissajous Figures by N. Minz
Waves in a Flat Plate (Interference) 118 by A . Kosourov
How to Make a Ripple Tank to Examine Wave Phenomena 128 by C.L. Stong
An Artificial Representation of a Total Solar Eclipse 140 by R . W . Wood
Believe It or Not 144 by G. Kosourov
Colour Shadows 150 by B . Kogan
What Colour Is Brilliant Green? 152 by E . Pal’chikov An Orange Sky 154 by G. Kosourov
The Green Red Lamp 161 by V. Mayer
Measuring Light Wavelength with a Wire 164 by N. Rostovtsev
Measuring Light with a Phonograph Record 172 by A . Bondar
A Ball for a Lens 177 by G. Kosourov