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Homework Help: Calculate the Mass of a Ball Bearing (Millikan Experiment)

  1. Feb 19, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    You are given twelve cans (one of which is empty) which are filled with a certain number of ball bearings. Using nothing more than a balance, calculate the mass of a single bearing

    2. Relevant equations
    Total Mass=Mo+n(mo)
    Where total mass=mass of ball bearings
    Mo=smallest mass
    n=number of bearings
    mo= mass of each bearing

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I realize the equation above is a little confusing (formatting in PF is not easy). The way I attempted this problem was by first trying to organize the mass of the twelve cans (after subtracting the mass of the empty can, of course). I found the smallest difference between two masses, which was 2.3 g. From this point, however, I'm not sure what to do. I could possible divide each mass by 2.3 g, giving me the theoretical number of ball bearings. But I don't see how I could verify my answer. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
  2. jcsd
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