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Digital Exhibits: The making of Caltech’s first Nobel: Robert Millikan’s road to Stockholm

The making of Caltech’s first Nobel: Robert Millikan’s road to Stockholm

Robert A. Millikan Nobel medal

Throughout its history, Caltech has accumulated an exceptional record of prestigious awards, conferred to its outstanding scientists for their groundbreaking research and discoveries. The Nobel Prize, awarded by the Swedish Academy of Science, holds a cherished place among international recognitions. Caltech is privileged to count 34 Nobelists (and 35 prizes) among its faculty and alumni.

Among them, physicist Robert A. Millikan is doubly special: as the first Caltech recipient, and as a founding father of the Institute. Millikan's command of physics and extraordinary experimental skills were on par with his charisma and administrative acumen. He was a masterful teacher, and the author of countless textbooks; his research spanned fields as diverse as electromagnetism, optics, molecular physics, and cosmic rays.

For his intuition, dedication, creativity, and curiosity, Millikan is a paragon of 20th century physics, and an enduring inspiration for generations of Techers. On the occasion of the 2016 Nobel Prize announcements, the Caltech Archives is pleased to present an illustrated account of Millikan's road to Stockholm. -EP

Visit the online exhibit. Posted 9-30-2016