Best measuring time for a Millikan oil drop experiment

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It is argued that, in a Millikan oil drop experiment, there is a best measuring time for the experimenter to observe the drop because of the Brownian motion of the drop and the reaction time of the experimenter. An equation for the relative error for the excess charge observed on an oil drop is derived, and from it is obtained a formula for the best measuring time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-800
Number of pages2
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1975
Externally publishedYes


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