4 October 2002
MILLIKAN, Robert Andrews (1868-1953). The Isolation of an Ion, a Precision Measurement of its Charge, and the Correction of Stokes's Law. Offprint from: The Physical Review, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 349-397, April 1911.
8o. Original printed wrappers (small chip to spine, corner lightly bumped). Provenance: JEAN BECQUEREL (presentation inscription, small paper library label on front wrapper).
FIRST EDITION, offprint issue. PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed on the front wrapper: "Professor M Becquerel with the authors compliments." Jean Becquerel (1878-1953) was the son of Henri Becquerel and a fourth generation physicist.
First separate edition of Millikan's first comprehensive account of his famous oil-droplet experiments, with which he established the electron as the fundamental unit of charge (a 3-page preliminary report of Millikan's work was published the previous year in Science, vol. 32). By modifying Wilson's cloud-chamber technique and substituting oil for water, Millikan was able to observe individual charged droplets of oil for hours at a time, measuring changes in their velocity and determining from his measurements that the electrical charge on any drop was always an integral multiple of e = 1.60 x 10-19 coulomb. Millikan received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1923 for his work on the elementary electric charge, along with his researches on the photoelectric effect.
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