Encyclopedia > Oil-drop experiment

  Article Content

Oil-drop experiment

Robert Millikan's oil-drop experiment to measure the electronic charge (since repeated by generations of physics students) measured the force on tiny charged droplets of oil suspended against gravity between two metal electrodes. Knowing the electric field the charge on the droplet could be determined. Repeating the experiment for many droplets, this was found always to be one or a few units of a common value. This was taken to be the charge on a single electron.

A version of the oil drop experment has subsequently been used to search for free quarks (which, if they exist, would have a charge of 1/3 e), without success. Current theories of quarks predict that they are tightly bound and will not exist in a free form.

External links



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
242

... 2nd century - 3rd century - 4th century Decades: 190s 200s 210s 220s 230s - 240s - 250s 260s 270s 280s 290s Years: 237 238 239 240 241 - 242 - 243 244 245 246 ...

 
 
 
This page was created in 31.7 ms