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Millikans Oil Drop Experiment

Millikan performed the pioneering oil drop experiment for the precise measurement of the charge on the electron.
 
By applying suitable electric field across two metal plates, the charged oil droplets could be caused to rise or fall or even held stationary in the field of view for sufficiently long time (Fig. 3). He found that the charge on an oil droplet was always an integral multiple of an elementary charge 1.602 × 10–19 C.
 
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Fig. 3
 
In this experiment charge on the drop is given by
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where η = coefficient of viscosity of air, v1 = terminal velocity of drop when no electric field is applied between the plates, v2 = terminal velocity of drop when electric field is applied between the plates, V = potential difference between the plates, d = separation between plates, ρ = density of oil, σ = density of air.




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