List of discoveries
This article presents a list of discoveries and includes famous observations. Discovery observations form acts of detecting and learning something. Discovery observations are acts in which something is found and given a productive insight. The observation assimilates the knowledge of a phenomenon or the recording of data using instruments.
Century of discovery and item
- 19th century : Historical relatedness of languages
- 19th century : Extinct human ancestry
- 20th century : Culture and tool use among chimpanzees
Century of discovery, item and discoverer
- 3rd century B.C. : Heliocentrism (Earth and the planets revolving around the Sun) by Aristarchus of Samos
- 3rd century B.C. : The discovery of the curvature of the Earth, its size (circumference) computed by Eratosthenes
- 2nd century B.C. : Discovery of tides being caused by the Moon, by Seleucus of Seleucia
- 16th century : Explicit heliocentric model by Nicolaus Copernicus
- 17th century : Moons of Jupiter by Galileo Galilei
- 17th century : Sunspots by Johannes and David Fabricius, Christoph Scheiner and Galileo Galilei
- 18th and 19th century : The outer planets, Uranus and Neptune
- 20th century : Universe beyond our galaxy
- 20th century : Expansion and age of the universe, based on Hubble's law
- 20th century : Cosmic microwave background radiation
- Observation of microorganisms by Antony van Leeuwenhoek
- Discovery of the role of oxygen in respiration and photosynthesis by Joseph Priestley, Antoine Lavoisier and Jan Ingenhousz
- Former existence of extinct species
- Mendel's Laws of Genetics
- Discovery of evidence for the evolution of species in the fossil record and DNA sequences.
- Chromosomes in the cell nucleus bear a definite linear arrangement of genes - the Chromosome Theory of Inheritance.
- Discovery of the essential minerals, nutrients and vitamins in foodstuffs.
- Discovery of the mechanism of evolution by natural selection, by Charles Darwin
- The role of microorganisms in causing infectious disease, by Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister
- The nervous system acts via electrical impulses.
- Discovery of the structure and function of DNA and RNA
- Discovery of the structure and function of enzymes and other proteins.
- Discovery of restriction endonucleases, later used in genetic engineering, by Daniel Nathans and Hamilton Smith.
- law of conservation of mass by Antoine Lavoisier
- The synthesis of urea from inorganic chemicals, by Friedrich Woehler, disproving Vitalism
- Chirality or handedness of asymmetrical molecules, by Louis Pasteur
- Periodicity of the elements by Dmitri Mendeleev
- Practical synthesis of ammonia, by Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch
- X-ray crystallography, allowing for the determination of molecular structures
- Synthesis of Neoprene and Nylon by Wallace Carothers and colleagues
- Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for the rapid determination of molecular structures in solution.
- Chromatography for the efficient separation and purification of chemicals.
- Dideoxy method of DNA sequencing, by Fred Sanger
- 16th century : Continental drift, put forward by Flemish geographer Abraham Ortelius
- 20th century : Geologic time scale, proposed by British geologist Arthur Holmes
- 20th century : Great age of the Earth, finally discovered by C. C. Patterson
- 17th century : Principle of relativity by Galileo Galilei
- 17th century : Newton's laws of motion by Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton
- 17th century : Classical mechanics and inverse square law of gravity (Newton's law of universal gravitation) by Isaac Newton
- 18th century : Kinetic energy is proportional to mass × velocity squared by Émilie du Châtelet, based on experiments by Willem 'sGravesande.
- 18th century : +/- Electric charges and their conservation, by Benjamin Franklin
- 18th century : Mechanical energy equivalent of heat, by Count Rumford and others.
- 19th century : Phenomena of Electromagnetism, discovered by Hans Christian Ørsted and Michael Faraday
- 19th century : Laws of Electromagnetism, developed by Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell
- 19th century : Experiments on Diffraction done by Augustin-Jean Fresnel provide evidence for the wave theory of light
- 19th century : Electromagnetic waves, predicted by James Clerk Maxwell, discovered by Heinrich Hertz
- 19th century : The Michelson–Morley experiment demonstrates that light is not carried by Aether
- 19th century : Radioactivity by Henri Becquerel and others.
- 19th century : Electron, discovered by J. J. Thomson and his team
- 20th century : Photon, theoretically proven by Albert Einstein
- 20th century : Quantum theory to account for the photoelectric effect by Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein, and many others.
- 20th century : The demonstration of time dilation as a real physical phenomenon by Albert Einstein
- 20th century : The theories of special and general relativity by Albert Einstein