Excess Electrons, Milikan Oil Drop

• Duderonimous
In summary, the conversation discusses the Milikan Oil Drop experiment and how the measured charge was off by a factor of 5 from the theoretical amount. The individual suggests dividing the experimental number by 2e5, which would mean there are 200,000 excess electrons on the oil droplet, resulting in a value close to the theoretical amount. The question is then raised about the maximum number of excess electrons that could plausibly be on an oil droplet, with a suggestion of 50. The individual also mentions searching for answers online but not finding any. They express interest in sharing more about their experiment and calculations in hopes of receiving help.
Duderonimous
I am writing out the lab for the Milikan Oil Drop experiment and punching out the numbers has shown that my measured charge is off by a factor of 5 from the theoretical amount.
theoretical: 1.6e-19
experimental: 3.16e-14

See if I divide this number by 2e5 (which means I am saying there are 200,000 excess electrons on the oil droplet) then I get 1.58e-19 which is really close to theoretical...a little too close.

Question: What is the max number of excess electrons that could plausibly be on an oil droplet. The higher the number the better :).

I am thinking 50. Searched for answers on the internet but to no avail.

Thank you.

Last edited:
Show a little more of your experiment and observations, please. As wel as from your calculations. Who knows, maybe we can help. Your question is weird, to say the least.

1. What is the Milikan Oil Drop experiment?

The Milikan Oil Drop experiment was conducted by Robert Millikan in 1909 to measure the charge of an electron. He did this by observing tiny oil droplets suspended in an electric field and calculating their charge based on their movement.

2. How did Millikan's experiment prove the existence of excess electrons?

Millikan's experiment showed that the charge of an electron is a discrete value and cannot be divided into smaller units. This proved the existence of excess electrons, which have a negative charge and are responsible for electricity.

3. What are excess electrons?

Excess electrons are negatively charged particles that are not bound to an atom or molecule. They are responsible for the flow of electricity and play a crucial role in many chemical reactions.

4. How are excess electrons related to the concept of charge?

Excess electrons have a negative charge, which is one of the two fundamental properties of matter (the other being mass). Charge is a measure of the electrical force between particles, and excess electrons contribute to this force by repelling other negatively charged particles and attracting positively charged particles.

5. How does a knowledge of excess electrons impact modern science?

Understanding excess electrons and their role in electricity and chemical reactions has greatly impacted modern science. It has led to advancements in technology such as electronics, which rely on the flow of electrons, and has also helped us understand the behavior of matter at the atomic and molecular level. Additionally, excess electrons play a crucial role in fields such as chemistry, physics, and materials science.

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