19-22 October 2011
Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke VA
US/Eastern timezone
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e/m Experiment Analysis Refinement

21 Oct 2011, 18:00
Roanoke Foyer (Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke VA)

Roanoke Foyer

Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke VA


Michael Harmon (Erskine College)


Thomson's e/m experiment is widely popular in undergraduate courses to help gain an understanding of the properties of the electron. Our results using a standard apparatus, however, reveal significant systematic errors. We examine possible reasons for the discrepancy with the aim of modeling effects that were not included in the original analysis. We conclude that the energy loss of the electron beam as it travels through the helium and the distortion of the beam radius measurement by the curved glass of the tube are the two factors which dominate the discrepancy.


Bryce Pruitt (Erskine College) Kevin Velasquez (Erskine College) Rich Schelp (Erskine College)

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