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Oil drop experiment

  1. Apr 29, 2012 #1
    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. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2012 #2

    tiny-tim

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    hi cake_is_a_lie! :smile:
    well, they're (approximately) 12/3, 20/3, 8/3, 32/3, and 28/3 … :wink:
     
  4. Apr 29, 2012 #3
    Thank you for answering.
    But I don't really understand the point. Actually this time the explanation and deduction is more useful than the actual answer.
     
  5. Apr 29, 2012 #4

    tiny-tim

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    well, what's the largest unit consistent with 12/3, 20/3, 8/3, 32/3, and 28/3, being multiples of that unit? :smile:
     
  6. May 1, 2012 #5

    tiny-tim

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    nooo :redface: … 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) :smile:
     
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