# 29.2 Discovery of the parts of the atom: electrons and nuclei  (Page 3/7)

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An American physicist, Robert Millikan (1868–1953) (see [link] ), decided to improve upon Thomson’s experiment for measuring ${q}_{e}$ and was eventually forced to try another approach, which is now a classic experiment performed by students. The Millikan oil drop experiment is shown in [link] .

In the Millikan oil drop experiment, fine drops of oil are sprayed from an atomizer. Some of these are charged by the process and can then be suspended between metal plates by a voltage between the plates. In this situation, the weight of the drop is balanced by the electric force:

${m}_{\text{drop}}g={q}_{e}E$

The electric field is produced by the applied voltage, hence, $E=V/d$ , and $V$ is adjusted to just balance the drop’s weight. The drops can be seen as points of reflected light using a microscope, but they are too small to directly measure their size and mass. The mass of the drop is determined by observing how fast it falls when the voltage is turned off. Since air resistance is very significant for these submicroscopic drops, the more massive drops fall faster than the less massive, and sophisticated sedimentation calculations can reveal their mass. Oil is used rather than water, because it does not readily evaporate, and so mass is nearly constant. Once the mass of the drop is known, the charge of the electron is given by rearranging the previous equation:

$q=\frac{{m}_{\text{drop}}g}{E}=\frac{{m}_{\text{drop}}\text{gd}}{V},$

where $d$ is the separation of the plates and $V$ is the voltage that holds the drop motionless. (The same drop can be observed for several hours to see that it really is motionless.) By 1913 Millikan had measured the charge of the electron ${q}_{e}$ to an accuracy of 1%, and he improved this by a factor of 10 within a few years to a value of $-1\text{.}\text{60}×{\text{10}}^{-\text{19}}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{C}$ . He also observed that all charges were multiples of the basic electron charge and that sudden changes could occur in which electrons were added or removed from the drops. For this very fundamental direct measurement of ${q}_{e}$ and for his studies of the photoelectric effect, Millikan was awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physics.

With the charge of the electron known and the charge-to-mass ratio known, the electron’s mass can be calculated. It is

$m=\frac{{q}_{e}}{\left(\frac{{q}_{e}}{{m}_{e}}\right)}\text{.}$

Substituting known values yields

${m}_{e}=\frac{-\text{1.60}×{\text{10}}^{-\text{19}}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{C}}{-1\text{.}\text{76}×{\text{10}}^{\text{11}}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{C/kg}}$

or

${m}_{e}=9\text{.}\text{11}×{\text{10}}^{-\text{31}}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{kg}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\left(electron’s mass\right),$

where the round-off errors have been corrected. The mass of the electron has been verified in many subsequent experiments and is now known to an accuracy of better than one part in one million. It is an incredibly small mass and remains the smallest known mass of any particle that has mass. (Some particles, such as photons, are massless and cannot be brought to rest, but travel at the speed of light.) A similar calculation gives the masses of other particles, including the proton. To three digits, the mass of the proton is now known to be

#### Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
why?
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
what does nano mean?
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
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