Oil Drop Experiment

Oil Drop Experiment

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  • Oil 
  • Drop
  • Experiment
  • In 1909 Millikan performed the Oil Drop Experiment A closed chamber with transparent sides is fitted with two parallel metal plates, which acquire a positive or negative charge when an electric charge is applied. 
  • At the start of the experiment an atomizer sprays a fine mist of oil droplets into the upper portion of the chamber. Under the influence of gravity and air resistance, some of the oil droplets fall through a small hole at the top of the metal plate.  
  • When the space between the metal plates is ionized by radiation, electrons from the air attach themselves to falling oil droplets, causing them to acquire a negative charge. The amount of voltage needed to suspend a droplet is used along with its mass to determine the overall electric charge on the droplet.    
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