Millikan (1868-1953) was born in Morrison, Illinois in the U.S.A
on the 22 of March 1868. After he graduated at Maquoketa High School he taught elementary
physics for two years. He was appointed Fellow in Physics after receiving his mastership.
Later he went on to receive his Ph.D. In 1923 he won the Nobel Prize for physics, for his
study of the elementary electric charge and the photoelectric effect.
Robert Millikans earliest major success was his
"oil-drop" experiments, which measured an electrons charge and showed
that the charge was a discrete constant rather than a statistical average. He later
studied cosmic rays, which he names, physical and electric constants and X rays. He
verifies Einsteins photoelectric effect and made the first direct photoelectric
determination of Plancks constant. He also studies Brownian movement in gasses and
put an end to the opposition against the kinetic and atomic theories of matter.
During World War I, he was vice chairman of the National
Research Council where he played a major role in the development of
meteorological and anti-submarine devices. His First Course in Physics, which was written
by Henry Gale and him, was a standard textbook for many years. In 1921 he was appointed
the director of the Norman Bridge Laboratory of Physics at the California Institute of
Technology in Pasadena. He was also made chairman of the executive council of this
institute, a post he held until he retired in 1945.