- News Home
12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
- 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).]