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 Robert Andrews Millikan

Photo added by William Bjornstad

Robert Andrews Millikan

Birth
Morrison, Whiteside County, Illinois, USA
Death 19 Dec 1953 (aged 85)
San Marino, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Great Mausoleum, Court of Honor, Under the Last Supper window
Memorial ID 2089 View Source
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Nobel Prize in Physics Recipient. Robert Millikan received world-wide notoriety as the 1923 Nobel Prize for Physics, according to the Nobel Prize Committee, “for his work on the elementary charge of electricity and on the photoelectric effect." Born to a family that had come to New England prior to the Revolutionary War, his father was a rural church pastor. After high school, he accepted a position as a court reporter before entering Oberlin College in Ohio, majoring in Greek and mathematics and graduating in 1891. He taught elementary physics in a public school for two years before earning a Masters Degree in Physics. He was appointed Fellow in Physics at Colombia University in New York City, receiving his PhD in 1895 for research on the polarization of light emitted by incandescent surface, a process used by the United State Mint to molt gold and silver for coins. From 1895 to 1896 Millikan studied in Germany, at the Universities of Berlin and Göttingen. Upon returning to the United States in 1889, he was invited to become assistant at the newly established Ryerson Laboratory at the University of Chicago, receiving a full professorship in 1910. As a scientist, he made numerous momentous discoveries in the fields of electricity, optics and molecular physics. In 1916 he resumed, using a 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. Throughout his career, he was a prolific author, making numerous contributions to scientific journals, publishing college-level textbooks, translating English textbooks to German and his “Autobiography” in 1950. During World War I, he was Vice-Chairman of the National Research Council, playing a major part in developing anti-submarine and meteorological devices. In 1921 he became the Director of the Norman Bridge Laboratory of Physics at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and President of the American Physical Society. He was also Vice-President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American representative at the International Congress of Physics. Besides the Nobel Prize, he received the Comstock Prize of the National Academy of Sciences, Edison Medal of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and Hughes Medal of the Royal Society of Great Britain. He held honorary doctorate’s degrees from some twenty-five universities. He married and was the father to three sons, Clark Blanchard, Glenn Allen, and Max Franklin.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 2089
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/2089/robert-andrews-millikan : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Andrews Millikan (22 Mar 1868–19 Dec 1953), Find a Grave Memorial ID 2089, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .