Physics 309 Millikan’s Experiment Fall 2013

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Physics 309 Millikan’s Experiment Fall 2013
The charge to mass ratio of a particle has two properties mixed together. We’d like to get them separately. For instance, what is the smallest possible charge a particle might have? We suspend a small object, such as a droplet of oil or a tiny plastic bead, between two plates. We may apply a voltage between the plates and observe the vertical motion of the droplet or bead, and do the same with zero applied voltage.
Forces on the droplet: gravity and air resistance and electric force

D is the air resistance, C is the drag coefficient, and W is the weight of the droplet.

Without E-Field With E-Field

At terminal velocity Set E-Field such that v’ = constant

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