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Robert A. Millikan
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    (March 22, 1868-December 19, 1953)
    Born in Morrison, Illinois
    Determined the charge of the electron (1913)
    Also studied the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion and cosmic rays
    Won the Nobel Prize in Physics (1923)
    President of Caltech (1921-45)
    Wrote 'Evolution in Science and Religion' (1927)
    He was accused of scientific fraud in selectively using data from his experiments in measuring the charge of the electron.
    He joined the pro-eugenics Human Betterment Foundation, which advocated compulsory sterilization laws.
    He praised the city of San Marino, adjacent to Caltech, as 'the westernmost outpost of Nordic civilization... [with] a population which is twice as Anglo-Saxon as that existing in New York, Chicago or any of the great cities of this country.'
    A review of his data indicated that he would have gotten the same value for the electron charge (although the margin of error would have increased from 0.5% to 2%).
    His 'A First Course in Physics' (1906) became a standard textbook.
    He was married to Greta Blanchard for 51 years until her death.
    His son Glenn died in a climbing accident (1947).
    He built Caltech into one of the nation's leading institutes for scientific research.

Credit: C. Fishel

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