Brigham Young University

Interviewed by
Vern Knudsen and W. James King
Interview date
University of California, Los Angeles

Concentrates on oil-drop experiment. Family background and early education; undergraduate at Brigham Young University (physics); graduate at University of Chicago, Robert Millikan and Albert A. Michelson as physicists and teachers. Extensive coverage of the work and relationship with Millikan on the "oil-drop" technique with two versions of the nature of the collaboration presented by Vern Knudsen, one from Millikan's autobiography and Fletcher's own account. Work on modification of Stokes' law and Brownian motion. Impact of electric charge measurement. Teaching at Brigham Young 1911-1916; acoustics work at Western Electric Co.(later Bell Labs) on the determination of the critical bands of hearing; dynamics of the cochlea; development of stereophonic sound. Role in formation of Acoustical Society of America. Interests in electronic reproduction of musical tones. Successful effort to develop a school of engineering at Brigham Young. Discussion of Millikan's Nobel Prize, comments by Knudsen. Achievements of son. Also prominently mentioned are: Louis Begeman; Science (journal), and United States Bureau of Standards.