Millikan, Robert A.

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Millikan, Robert A.

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Millikan, Robert Andrews

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



Robert A. Millikan was born in Morrison, USA, in 1868. After a childhood in a rural region, he briefly worked as a judicial stenographer and then entered Oberlin College, Ohio, in 1886. He graduated in 1891 and started to teach physics. In 1893, he obtained a Master’s degree and began to teach at Columbia University. Having earned his PhD in 1895 in physics, he worked on the electric charge of electrons. During the two following years, he studied at Berlin and Göttingen, before returning to the US where he received an assistant position at the newly founded Ryerson Laboratory at the University of Chicago.

In 1910, Millikan became professor at the University of Chicago and occupied this post until 1921. He authored many articles in scientific revues and didactical physics works, such as A College Course in Physics, with S. W. Stratton (1898), A First Course in Physics, with H.G. Gale (1906) or A Laboratory Course in Physics for Secondary Schools, with H.G. Gale (1907). He was responsible for many major discoveries in the field of electricity, optics, and molecular physics. In 1923 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics.

During the First World War, Millikan assumed the vice-presidency of the US National Research Council (NRC). In 1921, he was appointed director of the Norman Bridge Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, a post that he held until 1946. He was also President of the American Physical Society and Vice-President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He died in 1953 in San Marino, California.

In 1923, Millikan was one of the twelve first members of the ICIC, alongside Albert Einstein and Marie Curie. At his initiative the American Committee of Intellectual Cooperation was founded in 1926, of which he became President. Millikan remained a member of the ICIC and President of the American Committee until 1932, when his compatriot James T. Shotwell succeeded him in the two functions. Millikan remained nonetheless a member of the American Committee of Intellectual Cooperation.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship


Dates of the relationship


Description of relationship

Robert A. Millikan was a member of the ICIC.

Access points area


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Marie Caillot 03/11/2011. English translation by Jan Stöckmann 11-08-2015.




  • UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1: boîte 6. IICI. A. I. 40. Correspondance avec M. Millikan, membre de la CICI. (1929-1932).
  • UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1 : CICI/461. Organisation de Coopération intellectuelle, "Les Commissions nationales de Coopération intellectuelle", Genève 1937, "Etats-Unis", p.53-60.
  • "Robert A. Millikan - Biography". Notice du site des Prix Nobel. Retrieved from: Accessed 3rd November 2011.
  • Renoliet, J.-J. (1999). L'UNESCO oubliée. La Société des Nations et la coopération intellectuelle (1919-1946). Paris : Publications de la Sorbonne. P. 49, 184.

Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC