Explaining Millikan's Experiment

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Explaining Millikan's Experiment

Postby 505095972 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:45 pm

Hi there,

In the textbook, Robert Millikan's experiment to determine the charge of an electron using oil droplets was explained, but I don't really understand it. How could the "smallest increment of charge between droplets" be the charge of one electron? What does that mean?

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Re: Explaining Millikan's Experiment

Postby rikolivares » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:13 pm

I believe he just choose that number because it was convenient. E is just a unit like moles that helps measure electric charge.

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Re: Explaining Millikan's Experiment

Postby Katie_Duong_1D » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:04 am

Robert Millikan could not measure a single quantum of charge; that value is too small. Instead, he measured the charges of many oil drops, then noticed a pattern in the charge value. He realized that all these values were divisible by 1.602 10−19 coulomb, a single unit of charge.

positive charge = 1.602 10−19 coulomb
negative charge = -1.602 10−19 coulomb

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