Millikan, Robert Andrews


Millikan, Robert Andrews

▪ American physicist
born March 22, 1868, Morrison, Ill., U.S.
died Dec. 19, 1953, San Marino, Calif.
 American physicist honoured with the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1923 for his study of the elementary electronic charge and the photoelectric effect.

      Millikan graduated from Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio) in 1891 and obtained his doctorate at Columbia University in 1895. In 1896 he became an assistant at the University of Chicago, where he became a full professor in 1910.

      In 1909 Millikan began a series of experiments (Millikan oil-drop experiment) to determine the electric charge carried by a single electron. He began by measuring the course of charged water droplets in an electrical field. The results suggested that the charge on the droplets is a multiple of the elementary electric charge, but the experiment was not accurate enough to be convincing. He obtained more precise results in 1910 with his famous oil-drop experiment (Millikan oil-drop experiment) in which he replaced water (which tended to evaporate too quickly) with oil.

      In 1916 he took up with similar skill the experimental verification of the equation introduced by Albert Einstein in 1905 to describe the photoelectric effect. He used this same research to obtain an exact value of Planck's constant.

      In 1921 Millikan left the University of Chicago to become director of the Norman Bridge Laboratory of Physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Calif. There he undertook a major study of the radiation that the physicist Victor Hess had detected coming from outer space. Millikan proved that this radiation is indeed of extraterrestrial origin, and he named it “cosmic rays.” As chairman of the executive council of Caltech from 1921 until his retirement in 1945, Millikan turned that school into one of the leading research institutions in the United States.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Millikan,Robert Andrews — Mil·li·kan (mĭlʹĭ kən), Robert Andrews. 1868 1953. American physicist. He won a 1923 Nobel Prize for his measurement of the electron charge. * * * …   Universalium

  • Millikan , Robert Andrews — (1868–1953) American physicist The son of a Congregational minister from Morrison, Illinois, Millikan was educated at Oberlin, where he studied classics, and Columbia University, where he obtained his PhD in 1895. After a year in Europe, studying …   Scientists

  • Millikan, Robert (Andrews) — born March 22, 1868, Morrison, Ill., U.S. died Dec. 19, 1953, San Marino, Calif. U.S. physicist. He received his doctorate from Columbia University and taught physics at the University of Chicago (1896–1921) and the California Institute of… …   Universalium

  • Millikan, Robert (Andrews) — (22 mar. 1868, Morrison, Ill., EE.UU.–19 dic. 1953, San Marino, Cal.). Físico estadounidense. Recibió su doctorado de la Universidad de Columbia y enseñó física en la Universidad de Chicago (1896–1921) y en el Instituto de Tecnología de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Millikan, Robert Andrews — ► (1868 1953) Físico y químico estadounidense. Fue premio Nobel de Física en 1923, por lograr determinar cuantitativamente la carga eléctrica del electrón …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Robert Andrews Millikan — Infobox Scientist name = Robert A. Millikan imagesize = 180px birth date = birth date|mf=yes|1868|3|22 birth place = Morrison, Illinois, USA nationality = United States death date = death date and age|mf=yes|1953|12|19|1868|3|22 death place = San …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Andrews Millikan — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Millikan. Robert Andrews Millikan Naissance 22 mars 18 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Robert Andrews Millikan — en 1891 Nacimiento 22 de marzo de 1868 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Robert Andrews Millikan — Millikan im Jahre 1931 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert Andrews Millikan — (n. Morrison, Illinois, 22 de marzo de 1868 † Pasadena, California, 19 de diciembre de 1953). Físico estadounidense que ganó el Premio Nobel de Física en 1923 primordialmente por su trabajo para determinar el valor de la carga del …   Enciclopedia Universal


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