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Guide to the Papers of Robert Andrews Millikan, 1821-1953
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The core of the Robert A. Millikan Collection at the California Institute of Technology consists of the official papers generated by Millikan during the twenty-five years that he was the executive officer at the Institute. The bulk of the papers consist of correspondence, lecture notes, and other materials dealing with scientific and academic matters.
Background
Robert Andrews Millikan (1868-1953) is best known as an experimental physicist. The oil drop method developed by Millikan enabled him to establish the long accepted value for e, the elementary unit of electrical charge. His pioneering investigations into the photoelectric effect gave important support to the quantum theory of light. For these achievements he was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1923. He was also widely known as the author, with Henry Gordon Gale, of a series of textbooks that were the mainstay of physics courses in the first half of the twentieth century. Several generations of Americans literally learned their physics from Millikan.
Extent
50 linear feet
Restrictions
Copyright may not have been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Institute of Technology Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Availability
The collection is open for research. Researchers must apply in writing for access.