Oil Drop Experiment Video Lessons

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Problem: Part B. Based on the data gathered in Millikan's oil-drop experiments, the concept of atomic structure was modified. Which of the following aspects of the structure of the atom was validated by these experiments?charge on an electroncharge on a protonmass of an electronmass of the atommass of a protonCheck all that apply.By using an apparatus in which oil droplets were given an electrical charge by irradiation with X rays, the oil drops' descent due to gravity could be countered by application of charge to plates on the top and bottom of the apparatus. The upper plate was positively charged and the lower plated negatively charged. By monitoring the size of the drops, the rate of fall, and the charge on the plates, Millikan determined that all drops carried an integer multiple of −1.60 × 10−19 C, where C is a coulomb, which is a unit of electrical charge.

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Part B. Based on the data gathered in Millikan's oil-drop experiments, the concept of atomic structure was modified. Which of the following aspects of the structure of the atom was validated by these experiments?

  • charge on an electron
  • charge on a proton
  • mass of an electron
  • mass of the atom
  • mass of a proton

Check all that apply.


By using an apparatus in which oil droplets were given an electrical charge by irradiation with X rays, the oil drops' descent due to gravity could be countered by application of charge to plates on the top and bottom of the apparatus. The upper plate was positively charged and the lower plated negatively charged. By monitoring the size of the drops, the rate of fall, and the charge on the plates, Millikan determined that all drops carried an integer multiple of −1.60 × 10−19 C, where C is a coulomb, which is a unit of electrical charge.

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