# How to start a Research/Experiment Project

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Hello peoples,

I have a question for some of the older scientists here, who I assume are doing something other than reading about science. Let me tell you what I mean...

So, I love science, so I read. Over the past month, I have been reading a bunch of science papers and stuff, trying to fill my brain with more knowledge. Now this is all fine and good, but with reading, I'm not actually doing any science, am I? I'm just reading...

So, I want to figure something out. I want to help the world, and be one of those people who actually does something other that know a lot of stuff. So how did you guys start your first project. How did you know what you wanted to do it on...

Any answers would be AWESOME!!!

Lightmeow

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So how did you guys start your first project.

Under the supervision of an established scientist.

My first real experience of looking for answers that cannot be simply found in books was for my final year project of my undergraduate masters in physics. This was done under the supervision of a professor who at one time worked on related problems.

Real scientific work was done for my PhD, again under the supervision of established scientists and while in contact with many other researchers with differing levels of experience. My supervisors directed me into their field, but overall I had a lot of freedom.

It is a similar story for my postdoc. Largely I am working on topics with or close to that initiated by the head of the group I am in. I have a lot of freedom, but it is still important to place ones work in context of what is going on now and talking to other researchers is the only way to do this.

How did you know what you wanted to do it on...

My own personal experience is that you may have some overall ideas and goals, but that will change as you work on it. Things maybe harder than you first expected and new lines to investigate will naturally appear. The main thing is to be interested and have some feel for what your project represents in your field. However, the second point may not be obvious at all!

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Hello peoples,

I have a question for some of the older scientists here, who I assume are doing something other than reading about science. Let me tell you what I mean...

So, I love science, so I read. Over the past month, I have been reading a bunch of science papers and stuff, trying to fill my brain with more knowledge. Now this is all fine and good, but with reading, I'm not actually doing any science, am I? I'm just reading...

So, I want to figure something out. I want to help the world, and be one of those people who actually does something other that know a lot of stuff. So how did you guys start your first project. How did you know what you wanted to do it on...

f.e.

I have ideas for new experiments while reading about other people experiments. Little things that were not checked during the main experiment.

If you're searching for something never seen before, unusual decay mode of some isotope should be relatively easy to find.

I wrote Decay Energy calculating application.

And it showed couple unusual decay modes possible.

f.e. Hydrogen-5 should be able to decay to Helium-5 + e- + Ve + 21.5 MeV

Default decay mode of H-5 -> H-3 + n0 + n0 + 1.8 MeV (double neutron emission).

Checking this would require making Tritium, then bombarding Tritium by Tritium to produce Hydrogen-5 and protons, then checking whether we have He-4 inside after long time.

Tritium is decaying to Helium-3.

Hydrogen-5 is also decaying to Tritium and emitting two neutrons.

If a bit of Hydrogen-5 would decay to Helium-5, it should decay quickly to Helium-4 and neutron (instead of He-3).

If I were you I would start making experiments from building Cloud Chamber, the first particle detector of the world created by Wilson He got Noble price for it.

There is no excuse to not have it. Costs approximately $20-$50 (much more for devices cooled by electricity (Peltier effect usually) ).

You need to find good cheap supply of dry ice (\$4 per kg here)

Single time run of 40x25x25 cm (25 L) chamber requires >500 grams of dry ice.

Edited by Sensei

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