Robert Mills (physicist)

Robert Mills (physicist)

Infobox Scientist
name = Robert Mills
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caption = Robert Mills
birth_date = April 15, 1927
birth_place = Englewood
death_date = October 27, 1999
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field = physics
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known_for = quantum field theory
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Robert L. Mills (April 15, 1927 - October 27, 1999) was a physicist, specializing in quantum field theory, the theory of alloys, and many-body theory. While sharing an office at Brookhaven National Laboratory, in 1954, Chen Ning Yang and Mills proposed a tensor equation for what are now called Yang-Mills fields. This equation reduces to Maxwell's Equations as a special case, see gauge theory: partial_{mu}F^{mu u} + 2 epsilon ( b_mu imes F^{mu u} ) = J^ u.

Mills was born in Englewood, New Jersey, and graduated from George School. He studied at Columbia College from 1944 to 1948, while on leave from the Coast Guard. Mills demonstrated his mathematical ability by winning the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition in 1948, and by receiving first-class honors in the Tripos. He earned a master's degree from Cambridge, and a Ph.D. in Physics under Norman Kroll, from Columbia University in 1955. After a year at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, Mills became Professor of Physics at Ohio State University in 1956. He remained at Ohio State University till his retirement in 1995.

Mills and Yang shared the 1980 Rumford Premium Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for their "development of a generalized gauge invariant field theory" in 1954.

Personal life

Robert Mills was married to Elise Ackley in 1948. Together they had sons Edward and Jonathan,and daughters Katherine, Susan, and Dorothy. The Mills family lived for many years in Columbus, OH during Mills' tenure as professor at Ohio State University. The family also spent considerable time during the summer and winter breaks in Echo Lake, VT. Robert opted to live out his final months at their residence in Echo Lake.


*Yang C. N. and Mills R. L. [ Conservation of Isotopic Spin and Isotopic Gauge Invariance] "Phys Rev" 96 (1954), p. 191.


* [] Samuel L. Marateck, "Remembering Robert Mills," "Physics Today," October 2003.

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