The Milikan Oil Drop experiment an experiment where you measure the elementary electric charge of an electron. This is done by examining tiny charged droplets between two electrodes. The plates are charged to the point where the droplets were at mechanical equiplibrium. From this the charge of the electron (based on the size of the droplets and the material of the droplet.).
United Scientific’s Milikan Oil Drop Apparatus allows modern physics students to perform the Oil Drop Experiment in their own lab.
This Milliklan Oil Drop Apparatus is hooked up to a computer via USB cable where the results can be studied. A version with a monitor is also available. The apparatus consists of an oil drop chamber with a mercury lamp, a digital voltmeter, a CCD camera, an atomizer, and a digital timer. Software is also included.
The Oil Drop Chamber is made of an accurately dimensioned polymer cyclinder with two precisely machined paralell end plate electrodes. The cylinder has an illumination opening, an observation opening, and a quartz glass window to exclude drafts. The entire oil drop chamber is housed in a cylindrical dreaft shield. Oil drops fall from a an oil mist chamber above the draft shield into the oil drop chamber through a hole of 0.4mm diameter in the uppoer electrode plate. They are illuminated by an LED.
A built in timer allows users to conveniently measuer the time it takes an oil drop to complete a motion through a measured distance. The distance can be measured on the monitor or via the computer link. Voltage is adjusted via the balancing voltage control and the balancing votlage switch. It can be varied from 0-500V with the control knob.
Two methods for measuring the elementary electric charge of an electron are descreibed in the manual: The Balance method and the Ris and Fall Method.
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Spectrometers are a staple product of high school and University Physics labs. Used for testing and measuring the refraction of light, they are crucial for a lot of optics programs. Among one of the better class of instruments for this purpose is the United Scientific Intermediate Spectrometer
There are a fair number of Laser Optics kits for classrooms on the market, but most of them are design for only a few purposes in demonstrating the properties of optics, lasers, and the like. The United Scientific Laser Optics Demonstrator works as a comprehensive optical demonstration system.
The core of the Demonstrator is a built-in He-Ne (Helium-Neon) laser. Unlike budget systems that may use a LED Laser (which can produce square shaped target dots). In addition the set includes a deflection system, ray optics board, and 30 optical quality glass components on carriers, three magnetic base supports and mechanical stage for wave optics.
The He-Ne laser is mounted horizontally in the demonstrator and the beam is diverted up towards the five mirrors. Each of these mirrors is only partially aluminized so that a fraction of the beam is deflected onto the white optics board to create a ray bundle.
On the white board is a 360 degree graduated table for measurement. The table has a knob on the back of the board so that it can be rotated. In the dead center of the table is a mount where the various glass optical components can be mounted – Demonstration lenes (convex, concave) prisms, mirrors and other optical instruments. Fiber optics are also included.
In addition to these optical ray systems the Laser Optics Demonstrator can be used for several light wave experiments. The base holds the various magnetic base supports that are included with the demonstrator. These components include lenses, polarizers, an air wedge, bi-prism, interference apertures, obstacles. Many interference and diffraction experiments can be performed with these components. The laser is bright enough that most experiments can be held in a bright room, but extended patterns or diffractions may require darkening.
The entire Laser Optics Demonstrator comes in a metal carrying case that measures 15″ x 15″ x 13″.
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We’ve already covered the details on United Scientific’s Foucault Pendulum Apparatus just under a year ago, but now United has produced a video to explain and show the Pendulum in operation. Have a watch:
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One of the more ‘practical’ experiments done in advanced physics labs is where a cathode ray tube (which shoots electrons) is surrounded by a magnetic field. By changing the magnetic field you manipulate the path of the electrons and cause them to strike the end of the tube in different areas. By measuring the change of path you could measure the field or calculate the deflection if you knew the power of the magnetic field. The experiment is considered practical because it doesn’t take much to realize this is how old TVs and Computer monitors worked (before LCD screens became the default). The experiment is only a crude imitation of the process that goes on in a TV, but it at least gives you the idea.
The biggest issue with the experiment is that it needed a lot of stuff to work. Cathode Ray tubes were purchased separately, as were the field generating coils, wires, power supplies, variacs, it made quite a mess. Some ‘kit’ versions were produced but none were as convenient as United Scientific’s Complete Properties of Electrons Apparatus
When an atom is excited it will emit a photon, making light. When that same light emitting atom is subjected to a magnetic field, its emission lines are split into multiple components at shifted wavelengths. This is known as the Zeeman Effect, named after the Nobel Prize winning physicist who observed the effect in 1896. It is fairly easy to explain, but hard to demonstrate or make in labs because it involves equipment that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, from United Scientific’s Advanced Physics Line there is now a Zeeman Effect Apparatus at a much more affordable price!
Fire a beam of electrons and it will pretty much just go in a straight line. Unless it runs into a electrostatic or magnetic field, that is, and then your beam is going to do some deflecting. This is due the electrons having a charge and thus affected by other charges or magnetics. This is a major principle an electromagnetics and the force that makes the electron beam move is known as the Lorentz Force. The Lorentz force is actually very important for many day-to-day applications. Cathode Ray tube computer monitors and TVs needed the Lorentz Force to make images – and without those you would not have LCD & LED screens of today.
Measuring the Lorentz force is always a bit tricky in physics classes, so to help professors and teachers we offer United Scientific’s Lorentz Force Demonstrator.