Advertisement

R. A. Millikan and the Maturity of American Science

Chapter
  • 54 Downloads

Abstract

In September 1886 a teacher wrote on a Maquoketa High School report card: “Robert Millikan gained an excellent standing for good deportment, faithful application to duty and exceptionally high grade of scholarship.”1 As time soon told, this student did not disappoint. Later in life, he would, for the first time in history, accurately measure the charge on an electron, verify Einstein’s theoretical ideas about the nature of light and contribute enormously to our understanding of those mysterious visitors from space—cosmic rays. Beyond all of this, he would midwife the growth of the California Institute of Technology from its beginnings as the small and undistinguished “Throop” institute to the world-class institution it is today.

Keywords

National Research Council California Institute Photoelectric Effect German Physicist British Physicist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Endnotes

  1. 1.
    R. A. Millikan, “Juvenalia,” Robert A. Millikan Papers, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Robert Millikan, The Autobiography of Robert Millikan (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1950), p. 37.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    1964 interview with Linus Pauling, by John Heilbron.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Robert Millikan, The Autobiography of Robert Milikan (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1950), p. 62.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mitchell Wilson, American Science and Invention (Simon & Schuster, New York, 1954), p. 334.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    John L. Michel, “The Chicago Connection: Michelson and Millikan, 1894–1921” in The Michelson Era in American Science: 1870–1930 (American Institute of Physics, New York, 1988), p. 167.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    James Trefil, From Atoms to Quarks (Scribner’s, New York, 1980), p. 22.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Robert Millikan, The Autobiography of Robert Millikan (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1950), p. 100.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    J. L. Michel, “The Chicago Connection: Michelson and Millikan, 1894–1921” in The Michelson Era in American Science: 1870–1930 (American Institute of Physics, New York, 1988).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    R. A. Millikan, “Quantum Relations in Photo-electric Phenomena,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1916, 2:78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Robert H. Kargon, The Rise of Robert Millikan (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N.Y., 1982), p. 72, where Kargon discusses Stuewer’s comments on this claim.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Daniel J. Kevles, The Physicists (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1978), p. 113.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Joseph Boyce to John Cockcroft, personal letter of 8 January, in the Sir John Cockcroft Papers, Churchill College Library, Cambridge, England.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Charles Weiner, “1932—Moving into New Physics,” Physics Today, May 1972.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    R. A. Milikan, “Science and Life,” 1924, p. 68, Robert A. Millikan Papers, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Anthony Serafini 1993

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations