Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Since it was first measured in Robert Millikan's famous oil-drop experiment in 1909, the elementary charge has been considered indivisible. Quarks, first posited in the 1960s, are believed to have fractional electric charges (in units of e/3), but only to exist in particles with an integer charge. They have never been detected singly. In 1982 Robert Laughlin tried to explain the fractional quantum Hall (FQH) effect by predicting the existence of fractionally charged quasiparticles. In 1995 fractional charge of Laughlin quasiparticles has been measured directly in a quantum antidot electrometer at Stony Brook University (New York). In 1997, two groups of physicists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and at the CEA laboratory near Paris, claimed to have detected such quasiparticles carrying an electric current.
- "Measurement of fractional charge" (Science Report) 1995
- "Quantum antidot electrometer"
- "Fractional charge carriers discovered" - Physics Web article 1997-10-24
- "Direct observation of a fractional charge" (letter to Nature) 1997
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