Recently, I've carried out a Millikan oil drop experiment. It was a tiny experiment I only recorded three droplets. I calculated the 3 charges of the droplets to be approximately $q_1=86.6\ e$, $q_2=181.24\ e$ and $q_3=44.68\ e$.

The issue is that although these charges are larger than the elementary charge by a factor of a hundred, they are still integer multiples of one another: $\dfrac{q_1}{q_3}=1.94\approx 2$, $\dfrac{q_2}{q_3}=4.06\approx 4$ and $\dfrac{q_2}{q_1}=2.09\approx 2$

Why is it so ?

  • $\begingroup$ Systematic error? $\endgroup$ – Michael Seifert Mar 14 '17 at 20:59

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