Robert Millikan, US physicist

Robert Millikan, US physicist

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Credit: California Institute of Technology/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Robert Millikan (1868-1953). Illustration of the US physicist Robert Andrews Millikan. Millikan initially studied classics, but then developed an interest in physics, gaining a doctorate from Columbia University in 1895. In Chicago between 1909 and 1913 he determined the charge on an electron by introducing charges onto oil droplets between charged plates. Millikan found the charges always to be multiples of a single value; the charge on an electron. He also made an accurate measurement of Planck's constant. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1923 for his work in measuring the charge of the electron. His other awards include the Hughes Medal (1923).

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