User:Ryan P. Long/Notebook/Physics 307L/2009/10/26
|Millikan Oil Drop Experiment Round 2|| Main project page|
Previous entry Next entry
Note: My partner Tom and I share the same lab notebook up to the Analysis sectionSJK 16:33, 14 November 2009 (EST)
Pictures from the Original Experiment
Pictures from the Continuation
Equipment used in both the original experiment and the followup
Note: We forgot to write down the model numbers of the Logitech, Creative, and CCD cameras, but we will get this information the next time we are in the lab
Week 1- No Camera
First, we tried using the Creative and Logitech webcams to see the droplets and take data. Then we ended up just following the procedure we used in the original experiment.
First, we set up the Logitech camera. The focusing wire was easily seen, but the gridlines were hard to make out due to the camera's low resolution. We tried the same thing with the Creative camera, but again, the gridlines were hard to distinguish from one another. After putting the drops in for both cameras, the light was not bright enough to see anything, despite changing cameras' integration times, contrast, and brightness settings.
After our attempts with the cameras yielded no data, we took data in a similar fashion as the original experiment: we squirted some mineral oil into the chamber with the ionization source set to the spray droplet position. We then turned it off, played with the capacitor plates until we found a suitable drop, and proceeded to time it as it rose with the force of the electric field and fell due to gravity. We did not repeat our previous mistake of measuring the fall time of the droplet WITH the electric field on.
Raw data sheet:
I decided to name our droplets for added excitement
Although the cameras did not work as well as we had hoped, it was still rather interesting to set up each camera and experiment with each. Perhaps they did not work properly because of the optics on the Millikan apparatus, since they are in fact designed to be used with the eye instead of a camera. Another problem could've been with resolution of the cameras we used, the web cams seemed to be too low of resolution to resolve the tiny droplets.
As in the first experiment, I calculated my value of Atmospheric pressure, using Google earth to find the elevation near campus (5187 ft.), and then calculated the pressure with an excellent converter that can be found here.
My value below for q is calculated using the equations on pages 2 and 9 of the pasco manual. Equation for q from page 10:
According to our calculations with our recorded data, our mean charges for each drop are as follows:
this wikipedia article, my partials are only approximations based on small changes in velocity, which I would've never figured out without Tom's help, (thanks!). My full spreadsheet and chart can be downloaded here.SJK 16:20, 14 November 2009 (EST)
The accepted value of the charge of a single electron is (from wikipedia):
e = C
(Steve Koch 16:32, 14 November 2009 (EST):Is Pubert related to Q*bert?)
Week 2- Camera
The second week, we experimented with different cameras to hopefully record some data without straining our eyes! First we tried to set up my canon video camera to monitor the droplets. It could decently see the grid and faintly see the dots, but they were far too out of focus to be recorded accurately. For our second attempt, we set up a CCD camera in front of the apparatus using a 2" lens in between. Also to improve lighting, we removed the built in light source and positioned a stronger LED light in its place.
Since neither cameras weren't entirely successful at viewing the droplets, we weren't able to record any data, and just used the data from week one. The camera's were a constant battle between lighting and focusing, when we could actually see the droplets with the canon video camera, they were out of focus, and the other cameras just weren't sensitive enough to resolve the droplets. Another problem was that this entire apparatus (particularly the optics portion) is designed for the human eye, and not a camera sensor. With a sensitive enough camera, and different lenses, one might be able to pull this off.SJK 16:30, 14 November 2009 (EST)