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Robert Andrews Millikan (Millikan Robert Andrews)

( The American physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923)

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Biography Robert Andrews Millikan (Millikan Robert Andrews)
March 22, 1868, Mr.. - December 19, 1953
American physicist Robert Andrews Millikan was born in Morrison (Illinois). M. was the second son of a priest Congregational Church Silas Franklin Millikan and Mary Jane (Andrews) Millikan, a former dean of the women's section Olivet College in Michigan. In 1875, Mr.. Milliken family moved to Makuoketa (Iowa), a small town near the Mississippi River, where Robert grew up with two brothers and three younger sisters.
After completing secondary school in Makuoketa M. enrolled in college, where she studied his mother - Oberlin in Ohio. There his interests were focused on mathematics and Greek language. Although he listened only dvenadtsatinedelny course of physics, which subsequently reacted as a waste of time, to M. asked to take the reading course in physics in the preparatory school for college. For the sake of earnings, he accepted the offer and taught physics for two years after the 1891 Mr.. received a bachelor's degree. He was preparing for classes the textbooks, which managed to get. As a reward faculty of Oberlin College awarded him in 1893, Mr.. master's degree in physics and has written summaries of his studies at Columbia University, who has appointed M. graduate scholarship.
At Columbia University M. studied under the guidance of the famous physicist and inventor Michael and. Pyupina. One summer he spent at the University of Chicago, where he worked under the guidance of the famous experimental physicist Albert A. Michelson. That's when he finally was convinced that physics - his true calling. In 1895, Mr.. He defended his Columbia University dissertation for the doctoral degree, devoted to the study of light polarization. Next year M. conducted in Europe, having visited Jena, Berlin, GцTttingen and Paris, where he met with Henri Becquerel, Max Planck, Walter Nernst, and Henri Poincare.
On his return in 1896. He became assistant Michelson University of Chicago. Over the next twelve years, M. written several textbooks on physics. It was the first book written for American students, but not French or German translations of textbooks. Books M. adopted as the standard textbook in colleges and secondary schools and with the additions they were more than half a century. In 1907, Mr.. M. was appointed assistant professor of physics, and in 1910. - A full professor.
In 1908, Mr.. M. stopped work on the books to devote more time to original research. Like many physicists of the time, he was interested in a recently discovered the electron, in particular the value of its electric charge, which was not yet measured. English physicist, GA. Wilson tried to do this by examining the influence of electric field on the charge cloud of ether vapor. But his calculations were based on the average behavior of microscopic droplets of ether, because Wilson did not come up with a method that would allow for all measurements on a single droplet. Wilson's results varied widely, and some scientists began to suspect that the different electrons have different charges and. This would mean that the electron is not an indivisible charged particle. M. decided to find out whether all the electrons have the same charge, and accurately measure its. He managed to develop a method of the charged droplets, which became a classic example of fine physical experiment, and one of the achievements of Moscow, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize.
First M. improved experimental set-Wilson, built a powerful battery created a much stronger electric field. In addition, he managed to isolate in the space of a few charged droplets of water between the metal plates. When the field between the plates drop slowly moved upward by the electric attraction. When off the field, she fell under the influence of gravity. Including and off the field, M. could study each of the suspended droplets between the plates within 45 seconds, after which they evaporated.
By 1909, Mr.. M. able to determine that the charge of any droplets always been integral multiple of the fundamental value of e (elementary charge). This was convincing evidence that electrons are fundamental particles with the same charge and mass. On the way to measure the exact value of the electron charge before M. rose experimental problems, which he patiently solved. Replacing water droplets drops practically non-volatile oils, he was able to extend the observations to 4,5 hours. In 1913, excluding one after the other possible sources of error, M. published its first final value of the electron charge: e = (4,774 + 0,009) бT 10-10 electrostatic units. This value lasted more than 70 years. Only recently, with the latest in the highly sensitive equipment has been amended. The new value of the electron charge is e = 4,80298 бT 10-10 electrostatic units.
Even during the work on textbooks M. conducted research on the photoelectric effect - electrons ejected from the surface of metal falling on the surface of the light. In 1905, Mr.. Albert Einstein tried to explain some features of the photoelectric effect with the hypothesis that light consists of particles, which he called photons. Einstein's hypothesis was a generalization of the earlier, the hypothesis put forward by Max Planck that the energy of the vibrating atoms emitted chunks, or quanta. Since the idea of Einstein contradicted the generally accepted view of light as a wave (the wave nature of light was confirmed by convincing experimental data), most physicists did not believe in it.
In 1912, Mr.. M. decided to test the relationship, which Einstein came up with for the photoelectric effect. This ratio establishes a relationship between the energy of electrons ejected from the surface and the frequency of incident light quanta. Collecting complex experimental setup, eliminates many sources of error, M. proved to his own surprise, that the ratio of Einstein correctly. Moreover, as a result of his experiment he was able to determine much more precisely than its predecessors, the value of Planck's constant (fundamental constant of quantum theory). Obtained M. data published in 1914, helped convince scientists in the quantum theory of justice.
M. was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 1923. 'for his work on the definition of an elementary electric charge and the photoelectric effect'. In his Nobel lecture in Moscow, referring to the experience of work in both areas, expressed the conviction that 'science is marching forward on two legs - on the theory and experiment ... Sometimes forward put forward one leg, sometimes another, but steady progress is achieved only when both are marching '.
Other important works executed M. in Chicago, his research includes various parts of the electromagnetic spectrum with the help of the spark spectrography and work on Brownian motion in gases, which have helped to confirm the terms of the molecular theory. Trudy M. earned him international recognition, and the results of his research have been introduced to the industry. In 1913, Mr.. He became a consultant to the company 'Western Electric' on vacuum devices, from 1916 to 1926. an expert in the Patent Office. In 1917, Mr.. at the invitation of astronomer George Ellery Hale M. and went to Washington, where he took the post of Vice-President and Head of Research, National Research Council - a special organization of the National Academy of Sciences, established by the U.S. government during World War. Served M. and in the Army Signal Corps, which coordinated the activities of scientists and engineers, especially in such vital areas as communications with submarines.
After the war, M. returned to the University of Chicago, but only for a short time. Hale, a member of the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, invited M. in 1921. in California, asking him to head the new laboratory with an annual fund of 90,000 dollars. M.. was appointed director of the new Bridzhesskoy Physical Laboratory and chairman of the executive committee of Caltech, that is, in essence, the president of the Institute. All his activities in subsequent years M. dedicated to making the Caltech in one of the best research and engineering institutions in the world. But his greatest merit was to attract the best professors at Caltech and capable students. Even after his resignation as head of the executive committee in 1946. M. until his death continued to work an outstanding administrator.
The first project of M. at Caltech was to study the radiation incident on the Earth from outer space (it was first discovered by the Austrian physicist Victor F. Hess). M. called such radiation by cosmic rays. The term quickly take root and among scientists and the general public. In an effort to unravel the mysterious nature of the rays, M. together with his assistants raised the devices on the mountain tops, run them on balloons and lowered to the bottom of deep lakes. In the course of these studies, one of the disciples M., Karl D. Anderson discovered the positron and the muon.
In 1902, Mr.. M. married to Greta Irvin Blanchard, a graduate department of classical philology, University of Chicago. Her specialty was the ancient Greek language. They had three sons. They all became well-known scientists. M. died December 19, 1953, Mr.. San Marino (Calif.).
Adhering to the policy of conservative views, M. was an opponent of the New Deal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He believed that the surest means, which can help the United States to recover from depression, is a collaboration of science and industry. But, like many conservatives of the time, M. was against isolationism and very actively contributed to the turn of research programs at Caltech to military needs during World War. M. was a religious modernist and has written several books about the relationship between science and religion. In his spare time he liked to play tennis and golf.
M. was awarded many prizes, including the Hughes medal of the Royal Society of London (1923) and the Faraday medal of the British Society of Chemistry (1924). He was Commander of the Order of the Legion of Honor and a Knight of the Order of Amber, whom he rewarded the Chinese Government. Twenty-five universities elected him an honorary doctor. At various times he was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society, a member of the American Philosophical Society. From 1903 to 1916. He was deputy editor of 'American Physical Review' ( "American Physical Review"). By the end of life M. was a member of twenty-one foreign scientific academies.


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    Robert Andrews Millikan (Millikan Robert Andrews), photo, biography
    Robert Andrews Millikan (Millikan Robert Andrews), photo, biography Robert Andrews Millikan (Millikan Robert Andrews)  The American physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923, photo, biography
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