Every once in a while in discussions about quarks, you hear the old story that Millikan occasionally saw fractional charges while doing his oil‐drop experiment. Now William Fairbank and Arthur Hebard at Stanford University are repeating the experiment, replacing the oil drop with a superconducting niobium ball. They hope to improve the chance of finding a fractional charge because the probability of finding such a charge is proportional to the mass of the sphere. Their sphere has a mass of 7×10−5grams, in contrast to a typical Millikan oil drop of 3×10−11grams.

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