We received some nice feedback on our Do Atoms Really Exist? educational kit. High school senior Kristen S. says,
“...wanted to update you on our progress and to inform you of the ridiculous excitement that I felt when we saw the wiggling particles.”
Sean Robinson, the Associate Director of MIT's Physics Junior Lab said,
“Oh, that’s a cool idea!”
With our first educational kit deployed, we're already working on our second. This one will be a small app that allows students to virtually run Millikan's oil drop experiment.
Modeled after a version of the experiment I did in MIT's Physics Junior Lab, Millikan's oil drop is a classic Nobel Prize-winning experiment. It should really be called, "How to MacGyver Your Way into a Major Scientific Discovery". Using some oil, a spray bottle, a couple metal plates, and a power supply, Millikan made the first measurement of an electron's charge and mass. Our version allows you to run the experiment virtually:
In this virtual experiment, you spray oil droplets into a metal chamber and try to measure their net charge. Once in a while, a droplet picks up or loses an extra electron. By charging the bottom plate with many "like" charges, you can push the charged oil droplet upward. If there's not enough charge on the bottom plate, the oil droplet will fall under the influence of gravity. With just enough charge, the oil droplet will levitate. By measuring the voltage at which the oil droplet levitates, you can determine the charge and mass of an electron.
We're looking educators and students to beta test our Millikan oil drop game. Are you a teacher looking for a fun virtual activity to try with your students? Are you the parent of a science-loving 14-18 year old? If so, contact us and we'll send you a free copy to test. We'd love to receive your feedback, so we can make this an educational experience all students will love.
That's all for now. Check back for regular updates as DNP123 pursues its mission of making nanotech affordable and easy enough for anyone to use.