# Oil drop experiment

1. Apr 29, 2012

### cake_is_a_lie

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
The values for the charges on oil drops are 3,99 6,65 2,66 10,64 3,99 and 9,31
all these multiplied with x10-19C.
What is the largest value of the fundamental unit of charge that is consistent with the measured charges?

2. Relevant equations
Fundamental unit of charge is e=1,60x10-19C

3. The attempt at a solution
The question confuses me a little bit. Taking mean average is useless because the highest value is asked. I don't find also any reason to calculate ratios between the measured values althought 6,65/3,99=1,6666...
Any ideas?

2. Apr 29, 2012

### tiny-tim

hi cake_is_a_lie!
well, they're (approximately) 12/3, 20/3, 8/3, 32/3, and 28/3 …

3. Apr 29, 2012

### cake_is_a_lie

But I don't really understand the point. Actually this time the explanation and deduction is more useful than the actual answer.

4. Apr 29, 2012

### tiny-tim

well, what's the largest unit consistent with 12/3, 20/3, 8/3, 32/3, and 28/3, being multiples of that unit?

5. May 1, 2012

### tiny-tim

nooo … each value has to be a multiple of the unit

how can 20/3 be a multiple of 3?

you need to find the highest common factor (the highest number which goes into each value a whole number of times)