A biography and life work of robert andrews millikan an american physicist

Finding that he could make measurements on water drops for up to forty-five seconds before they evaporated. Millikan was the son of Silas Franklin Millikan, a Congregational preacher, and Mary Jane Andrews, a graduate of Oberlin who had been dean of women at a small college in Michigan.

As a scientist, Millikan made numerous momentous discoveries, chiefly in the fields of electricity, optics, and molecular physics. According to Time, he believed that "science dominated by the spirit of religion is the key to progress and the hope of mankind. Millikan intuitively sensed that the most fruitful approach to the problem would be to eliminate the sources of error in a method developed by J.

Learn More in these related Britannica articles: But instead he stopped writing textbooks and set out on one last try at a new line of research: In Millikan began a series of experiments to determine the electric charge carried by a single electron.

See Article History Alternative Title: Finally, inafter millions of dollars in research funds had been raised, he accepted appointment as head of the Norman Bridge Laboratory in Pasadena.

During his early years at Chicago he spent much time preparing textbooks and simplifying the teaching of physics, but he made little progress as a research scientist. While he was there he got a message from A.

After high school he worked for a short time as a court reporter, and inhe went to Oberlin College in Ohio. On his return trip to Chicago, Millikan suddenly realized that he could discard the cloud chamber entirely, that he could replace the evaporating water droplets with non-evaporating oil droplets, which could pick up electrons by passing through air ionized by x-rays or gamma rays.


An x-ray tube X allowed him to ionize the air around the droplet. Realizing that the accuracy of this figure was no better than that of the key constants involved in the computation, Millikan painstakingly reevaluated the coefficient of viscosity of air and the mean-free-path term in the Stokes-Cunningham law.

All subsequent distinct methods of measuring the basic unit of electric charge point to its having the same fundamental value. A few years later Throop College became the California Institute of Technology Caltechand Millikan left the University of Chicago in order to become Caltech's "chairman of the executive council" effectively its president.

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 died on the 19th of December,in San Marino, California. No experimentalist had yet succeeded in proving or disproving the validity of the equation.

He also served as the minister of the Neighborhood Church. Hoping to correct for this effect, he decided to study the evaporation history of the cloud while a strong electric Held held it in a stationary position. DuBridge and Paul S.

It is our sense of responsibility for playing our part to the best of our ability that makes us Godlike. Like many other physicists at the time, it took Millikan years to fully accept the ramifications of his own research.

Hale and physical chemist Arthur A. Using the so-called Stokes-Cunningham version of the law, which took this condition into account, by late he had computed a charge for e of 4.

Drop generation was by generation of a mist via an atomizer. Millikan and his then graduate student Harvey Fletcher used the oil-drop experiment to measure the charge of the electron as well as the electron mass, and Avogadro's numbersince their relation to the electron charge was known.

He was influenced by Oberlin's professor of dynamic electricity, Elisha Gray, noted for his inventions in telephony and telegraphy. One of the important subjects he investigated was the ability of electric fields on the order of a few hundred thousand volts per centimeter to draw electrons out of cold metals.

Brown, his brother-in-law and a Congregationalist minister, called on him to organize the scientific community in support of evolution, Millikan drew up a statement, which Noyes revised, that was signed by leading scientists, intellectuals, and community leaders including the Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover.

Robert Millikan

The date refers to experiments performed in a B bomber flying at 30, feet from Hudson Bay to Lima, Peru. His earliest measuring devices were small, visually read electroscopes — also called ionization chambers — built in the Caltech physics shop in the early twenties.

Other elementary particles discovered later were also found to have a charge of plus or minus e.

Robert Andrews Millikan

Wilson at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England. Thomsonand H. In he married Greta Blanchard; they had three distinguished sons. Millikan jumped at it, although he could have had an appointment elsewhere at twice the salary, for Michelson promised that he could spend up to half his time doing his own research, a privilege not granted at most colleges.Robert Andrews Millikan Biography, Life, Interesting Facts.

Robert Andrews Millikan was born on March 22nd, in He was an American physicist who won a Nobel Prize in physics in This was an award that he gained for measuring the elementary charge and his photoelectric effect research. Early Life & Education. Robert Andrews Millikan.

Robert A. Millikan (22 March – 19 December ) was an American experimental physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics for his measurement of the charge on the electron and for his work on the photoelectric effect. He served as president of Caltech from to Robert Millikan, in full Robert Andrews Millikan, (born March 22,Morrison, Illinois, U.S.—died December 19,San Marino, California), American physicist honoured with the Nobel Prize for Physics in for his study of the elementary electronic charge and the photoelectric effect.

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Robert Andrews Millikan "for his work on the elementary charge of electricity and on the photoelectric effect". Robert Andrews Millikan was born on the 22nd of March,in Morrison, Ill.

(U.S.A.), as the second son of the Reverend Silas Franklin Millikan and Mary Jane Andrews. His grandparents were of the Old New England stock which had come to America beforeand were pioneer settlers in the Middle.

Robert Andrews Millikan Facts

The American physicist Robert Andrews Millikan () measured the charge of the electron, proved the validity of Albert Einstein's photoelectric effect equation, and carried out pioneering cosmicray experiments. The second son of a Congregational minister of Scotch-Irish ancestry, R.

Robert A. Millikan life and biography


A biography and life work of robert andrews millikan an american physicist
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