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# Determination of e/m

Zimeng Li
2011-3-5 0:43:54
Pre-lab Questions and Exercises
1 The Earth’s magnetic field has a strength of about 0.5 gauss. What magnetic field strength
must be produced by the Helmholtz coils so that the Earth’s magnetic field has less than a 1% effect
on this experiment? How much current through the coils is needed to produce this magnetic field?
[0.5/B=0.01→B=50 Gauss, B=jI→I=2.9797A]
*For those who input 3A for current, please turn to me to claim your pts back.
2 How should the e/m apparatus be aligned so that the effect of the Earth’s magnetic field is
minimized?
[You should specify what part of the apparatus so that I can understand how it is aligned, e.g. the coil
plane or electron motion should be parallel to the earth field, or the axis of the coil is perpendicular to
the earth field.]
3 What two parameters can be varied in this experiment to change the radius of the electron
beam? Explain how each of these parameters affects the radius.
[Current and acceleration voltage, increase current will increase magnetic field and thus decrease
radius, increase acc voltage will increase electron velocity and thus increase radius]
4 Explain how you could use a compass to verify that the particle beam is negatively charged.
[First, make sure what pole of the compass point to north or south by placing it somewhere far away
from the coil’s field. Suppose north pole of the compass is silver and red is south pole, next we move
the compass near the coil. For example, if its north pole points outside the coil, that means the
magnetic field generated by the coil is going outside. Next use right hand rule to judge the direction
of the particle. Now we have the direction of B and v, if the direction of force obtained from the right
hand rule is the same as the observed deviation direction of the particle, the particle is positively
charged, otherwise, it’s negatively charged.]
5 List the potential sources of error for this experiment and describe what measures can be
taken to eliminate or minimize each of them.
[See discussion]
6 How will you determine the magnitude of B in this experiment?
[ B=jI]
7 Use Eq.6 to find B for a radius of 0.5cm with voltage 50V?
[Trivial]
8 Calculate I in order to produce B in Q.7?
[Trivial]
9 Plot B vs d, interpret it physically.
1
[Turn to eq.10, since a is small, ignore it, then we have B  const. , which is hyperbola. Physically
d
it means B is inversely proportional to d.]

Data Analysis/Discussion
If you did step 4,5,6, you might be able to get a better result through the weighted average. With
better uncertainty estimation, some students get a larger uncertainty and make the theoretical value
fall within the calculated uncertainty, even though there is still above 10% of inaccuracy. A lower
uncertainty means better precision if it is still not accurate. Anyway, your calculation will directly
relate to the discussion question.

CASE 0 Precision
Many factors affect precision, including the instrument error, unable to judge precisely the position of
electron beams.

CASE 1 Accuracy
If you get a smaller or larger e/m values on both high and low voltage, it means a systematic error
inevitably occurs. For the ‘smaller’ case, the most likely scenario is the reading of beam position,
which can be more systematically than randomly since d’ is not exactly the diameter and the
trajectory is not exactly circular due to supposition of E and B fields in the small projection gap.

For the ‘larger’ case, we can say that the collision of electron beam with inertial gas in the tube
reduces electron’s velocity, leading to a smaller radius, which will make a larger e/m following eq. 10.
This is the most convincing factor to explain the systematic drift to a larger value.

RC Problems
2. First draw E field line in the circuit (LHS graph below), note the power supply has positive
charge on its positive end (red) and negative charge on its negative end (black). Recall that field
line points from positive to negative.

Next, the switch and resistor has no polarization, which means its red and black port are the
same, you don’t need to care about which color port to connect in resistor and switch, just
choose their ports arbitrary.

DMM should measure alternative voltage since the function generator changes voltage in time.
DMM should not measure current in this case because when DMM serves as ammeter it has
near zero resistance and acts like a wire, therefore no potential drop occurs on the two sides of
DMM (Ohm’s Law). The parallel configuration of DMM and Capacitor or Oscilloscope will
lead to the same voltage (0V) on Capacitor and Oscilloscope, which means the capacitor won’t

Finally, according to field line, you can label the positive end and negative end of DMM,
capacitor and oscilloscope (RHS graph on above figure). Then connect them in the real object
graph below (select color on resistor and switch arbitrary)
3. 16kHz means a period of 62.5 microseconds, therefore in order to equal this period, RC=62.5→
R=62.5 ohm, two occasion occurs depends on what R you choose:
CASE 1 R<62.5 ohm

The two vertical lines are t=RC. You should draw the correct shape and at least two peaks
(periodically) to get full mark.

## CASE 2 R>62.5 ohm

This means RC>62.5 microseconds, or the theoretical discharging/charging time constant RC is
smaller than the actual charging time 1/f. ‘f’ is frequency of voltage. Therefore the actual voltage
curve cannot go a full shape like CASE 1, but it should be truncated at t=period<RC, which generates
the triangle curve. Because t<RC, you cannot identify RC vertical line on the triangle graph.

4.According to back page, oscilloscope has a 3% max relative error, therefore 0.5=3% Sec/Div→
Sec/Div=16 microseconds, we have to switch the Sec/Div on the oscilloscope less than 16
microseconds in order to obtain less than 0.5 microseconds uncertainty (device error).

On a real oscilloscope, we can choose from 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, 1 microseconds per division. But is a
smaller Sec/Div better? If any value below 16 is ok, should we choose 1 microsecond directly to
obtain the maximum accuracy? No, for example, if your input R is 62.5 ohm, you can choose 10
microseconds per division, but not less than 5. The reason is the oscilloscope will truncate wave on
display if its period is more than 10 divisions, which means 5 microSec/Div will display 50
microseconds on screen in total, which will truncate part of the whole 62.5 period. Therefore it will
be inconvenient to do RC lab if you choose less than 10 microseconds, or you can only choose 10
microSec/Div to obtain 0.5us uncertainty if your input is 62.5 ohm.