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1. Record plate separation and division distance
2. Create a new drop
3. Using the voltage controls, balance the drop between the plates.
4. Record the voltage.
5. Disconnect voltage, allow drop to fall a maximum distance, reconnect voltage.
6. Record time of freefall and distance fallen.
7. Zap drop, repeat steps 5,6.


Control Icon Keyboard Shortcut Description
New Drop new drop 'Z' Creates a new drop.
Polarity Switch polarity switch 'X' Switches polarity of the battery.
Voltage Sliders sliders 'Q' +100, 'W' +10, 'E' +1, 'R' +0.1
'A' -100, 'S' -10, 'D' -1, 'F' -0.1
Adjusts voltage magnitude.
Zap Drop zap drop 'C' Gives drop a new charge.
Voltage Switch switch 'V' Connects/disconnects voltage.



  • The above simulation was created by F. Almeida at Victoria Park Collegiate Institute. It was heavily inspired by Vernier Software's own Millikan oil drop simulation created in 1988 for DOS (screenshot).

Lab Activity
  • Originally adapted from Dr. Hoseltom's lab activity by N. Davis at Victoria Park Collegiate Institute. It has since undergone revisions by S. Torrie and F. Almeida, both at Victoria Park Collegiate Institue.