15 Numerical Oddities for Robert Millikan’s 150th Birthday
By Aziz Inan
Aziz Inan, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Portland, submitted the following "numerical oddities" in honor of Caltech founder Robert Andrews Millikan’s 150th birthday. (For more about Millikan, check out "A Sesquicentennial Salute," from the Summer 2018 issue of Caltech magazine.)
1. If numbers 1 to 26 are assigned to the letters of the English alphabet in alphabetical order, the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of the name Robert Millikan equals 159, which coincides with the first three digits of the charge of an electron, as determined by Millikan and his graduate student, Harvey Fletcher.
2. Millikan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1923, which equals 3 times 641. These two prime numbers add up to twice 322 (Millikan’s birth date, March 22).
3. Millikan’s 55th birthday (a palindrome age) occurred on a palindrome date, 3/22/23.
4. Millikan married his wife, Greta Erwin Blanchard (1876-1955), in 1902. The reverse of 1902 (2091) equals 223 plus 1868; the reverse of 223 (322), when put side by side with 1868, yields 3/22/1868, or Millikan’s birthday.
5. Furthermore, 1902 equals 2 x 3 x 317; these three prime factors add up to 322 (Millikan’s birth date, March 22). Additionally, 1902 equals twice 951; the reverse of 951 (159) is the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of the name Robert Millikan, as noted in oddity number 1.
6. Millikan’s 150th birthday on 3/22/2018 coincided with the 81st day of the year; 81 is also the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of the name Millikan.
7. In addition, when 150 is divided by the sum of its digits (6), it equals 25, which is the sum of 3 and 22, the month and date of Millikan’s birthday.
8. Moreover, the sum of the digits of 3/22/2018 is 18, where 18 is the reverse of 81 (the sum of the numbers of the name Millikan, as noted in oddity number 6).
9. Additionally, the rightmost two digits of 2018 are also 18.
10. The sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of the name Robert is 78; the sum of the prime factors of 78—namely 2, 3, and 13—are, again, 18.
11. The product of the digits in 12/19/1953—the day Millikan died—is equal to 10 times 243; the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of the name Robert Andrews Millikan is also 243.
12. The product of the digits of 3/22/1868 (Millikan’s birthday) is twice 48 square; the 48th prime number is 223, with its reverse being 322 (March 22).
13. Further, the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Millikan’s middle name, Andrews, is 84, which is the reverse of 48.
14. The year 2018 equals 2 x 1009, which is the product of the 1st and 169th prime numbers. The numbers 1 and 169 differ by 168, which is twice 84 (the value of the name Andrews).
15. Lastly, Millikan’s 157th birthday in square year 2025 (since 2025 is 45 square), expressed as 3/22/2025, will be a perfect square date because 3222025 equals 1,795 square. (In addition, Millikan’s 168th birthday—expressed in the day/month date format as 22/3/2036—will also be a perfect square date since 2232036 equals 1,494 square.)