McMillan, Edwin Mattison
- Charles W. Carey Jr.
McMillan, Edwin Mattison (18 September 1907–07 September 1991), physicist, was born in Redondo Beach, California, the son of Edwin Harbaugh McMillan, a physician, and Anna Marie Mattison. When he was one year old his family moved to Pasadena, California, where he grew up. In high school he developed a keen appetite for science, which he fed by attending many of the weekly lectures that the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) offered free to the public. In 1924 he matriculated at Caltech, where he studied physics and received his B.S. degree in 1928 and his M.S. degree in 1929. He then enrolled in the graduate physics program at Princeton University, where he studied the ability of an electric field to deflect a molecular beam, a thin stream of subatomic particles directed into a vacuum chamber so that their behavior can be observed more easily....