Department of Physics

Albert Michelson was recruited to head the new physics department by President Harper. He was brought from Clark University along with a number of other eminent faculty in other departments including Whitman in Biology and Nef in Chemistry. He was the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Physics for his measurement of the speed of light. A page of his notebook "the Velocity of Light" is displayed here. He also appointed Robert Millikan and Arthur Compton, both who won the Nobel Prize.

As was the case in many departments, many of the early students returned to teach at the University and attained professorships. This photo below is of Michelson and Milliken sitting with their former students and later colleagues Carl Kinsley and Henry Gordon Gale.

Four men in suits sit on steps.
Photo of Michelson, Milliken, Kinsley and Gale

From the Photographic Archive, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library. Available at: Identifier: apf1-05547

A handwritten page with diagrams.
Michelson's Velocity of Light

From Box 2 Folder 2, A.A. Michaelson Papers. University of Chicago Library Archives