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The Millikan Oil Drop Experiment

Robert Millikan was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1923 for determining (through a now famous experiment)  the charge on the electron.  This is also known as the elementary charge or fundamental unit of charge.  The experiment was simple enough.  Oil was sprayed out of an atomizer used for spraying perfume.   The small oil drops would pick up some unknown number of electrons due to friction between the oil and the nozzle.  These oil drops were sprayed between two oppositely charged parallel plates.  Light shined upon the oil drops from the side caused them to show up like little stars when looking through a microscope used to view the region between the plates.  The weight of an oil drop could be calculated by using the terminal velocity of the freely falling oil drop...

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