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24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
- About Us
22 March 1999 8:00 pm
is the birthday of Robert Millikan (born in 1868), the physicist who first measured the charge of an electron--an experiment repeated every year by physics students around the world. In 1908, physicists were struggling to measure the electron's charge with clouds of water droplets. By placing a charge on the droplets, they could tug the droplets upward against gravity with an electric field. Once the droplets were hovering in midair, their mass and the strength of the electric field would reveal the charge of the electron. But evaporation was foiling the measurements, so Millikan substituted oil droplets. His experiment succeeded, and Millikan proved that the electron was indeed an elementary particle with a fundamental charge. He published his value for the charge of an electron in 1913 and 10 years later received the Nobel Prize in physics.
[Source: Emily McMurray, Ed., Notable Twentieth Century Scientists (Gale Research Inc., ITP, 1995).]