We are asked what charge for the electron (in terms of α) is consistent with the data.

The electrical charge on any drop was always a whole number multiple of the charge on an electron.

We can use the equation below to find the charge:

$\overline{)\frac{\mathbf{Charge}\mathbf{}\mathbf{on}\mathbf{}\mathbf{an}\mathbf{}\mathbf{oil}\mathbf{}\mathbf{drop}}{\mathbf{Charge}\mathbf{}\mathbf{on}\mathbf{}\mathbf{an}\mathbf{}\mathbf{electron}}{\mathbf{}}{\mathbf{=}}{\mathbf{}}{\mathbf{whole}}{\mathbf{}}{\mathbf{number}}}$

A student re-creates the Millikan oil drop experiment and tabulates the relative charges of the oil drops in terms of a constant, α.

Drop#1 | α |

Drop#2 | 3/2 α |

Drop#3 | 5/2 α |

Drop#4 | 3α |

What charge for the electron (in terms of α) is consistent with this data?

a) 1/2 α

b) α

c) 3/2 α

d) 2 α

Frequently Asked Questions

What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Millikan Oil Drop Experiment concept. You can view video lessons to learn Millikan Oil Drop Experiment. Or if you need more Millikan Oil Drop Experiment practice, you can also practice Millikan Oil Drop Experiment practice problems.

What professor is this problem relevant for?

Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Wolfman's class at BC.