Physics instrumentation

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The fundamental act of an experimental physicist is that of measurement. By measuring a quantity (the mass of a particle, the intensity of a laser beam etc) and comparing the result to the predictions of a theory, the validity of the theory can be tested. In this manner, human knowledge is enlarged!

Physicists use a vast range of instruments to perform their measurements. These range from simple objects such as rulers and stopwatches to electron microscopes and particle accelerators

Collaborations: Certain branches of Physics, notably Particle Physics and Astronomy (the experimental side of Astrophysics and Cosmology) involve extremely expensive facilities: particle accelerators and space telescopes for example. This has led to the formation of international collaborations, through which the money and manpower required to build and run such facilities may be provided by a number of different countries.

In Particle Physics, the major international collaborations are:

Many other particle accelerators exist.

Spectroscopy is an important tool used by physicists.