The Oil-Drop Method for the Determination of the Electronic Charge

Article metrics

Abstract

IT is generally accepted that the discrepancy between Millikan's1 early value of the electronic charge, e (4·770 X 1010.E.S.U.), and the value derived by the X-ray method (4·8021 X 10-10 E.S.U.2) can be accounted for by the uncertainty in the value of the viscosity of air at 23° C. (v}23). There exist, how-ever, wide variations in the results obtained by different workers using the oil-drop method, even when the ratios, e2/3/n2 3, which are independent of the absolute value of the viscosity, are compared. For exam-ple, the following values of e2/3/n23 have been derived from the results published by the authors : Millikan1 334·96 X 10-5 ; Backlin and Flem-berg3 334·12 X 10-5 ; Ishida, Fukushima and Suetsugu4 336·65 X 10-5 ; Hopper and Laby5 335·09 x 10-5 (eE.S.U., η23 O.G.S.). In view of the large variation in these values, in spite of the internal consistencies of the sepa-rate experiments, it seemed desirable to make a systematic study of the oil-drop method itself, to find, if possible, the reasons for these dif-ferences and also an unexceptionable value of e2/323.

References

  1. 1

    Millikan, R. A., Phys. Rev., 34, 1 (1917).

  2. 2

    Birge, R. T., Amer. J. Phys., 13, 63 (1945).

  3. 3

    Bäcklin, E., and Flemberg, H., Nature, 137, 656 (1936).

  4. 4

    Ishida, Y., Fukushima, I., and Suetsugu, T., Sci. Pap. I.P.C.R. (Japan), 32, 57 (1937).

  5. 5

    Hopper, V. D., and Laby, T. H., Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 178, 243 (1941).

  6. 6

    Hopper, V. D., Nature, 158, 786 (1946).

  7. 7

    Hopper, V. D., and Grant Alison, M., Aust. J. Sci. Res., A, 1, 28 (1948).

  8. 8

    Ishida, Y., Sci. Pap. I.P.C.R. (Japan), 33, 1785 (1937–38).

  9. 9

    Oseen, C. W., Ark. Mat. Ast. Fys., 6, No. 29 (1910).

  10. 10

    Gilchrist, L., Phys. Rev., 1, 124 (1913).

  11. 11

    Rapp, I. M., Phys. Rev., 2, 364 (1913).

  12. 12

    Markwell, E., Phys. Rev., 8, 479 (1916).

  13. 13

    Harrington, E. L., Phys. Rev., 8, 738 (1916).

  14. 14

    Du Mond, J. W. M., and Cohen, E. R., Rev. Mod. Phys., 20, 82 (1948)

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

HOPPER, V. The Oil-Drop Method for the Determination of the Electronic Charge. Nature 163, 733–735 (1949) doi:10.1038/163733a0

Download citation

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.