Timeline of scientific discoveries
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|History of science|
The timeline below shows the date of publication of possible major scientific theories and discoveries, along with the discoverer. In many cases, the discoveries spanned several years.
2nd century BC
- Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi (Rhazes): refutation of Aristotelian classical elements and Galenic humorism; and discovery of measles and smallpox, and kerosene and distilled petroleum
- 984 - Ibn Sahl accurately describes the optics which became known as Snell's law of refraction
- 1021 – Ibn al-Haytham's Book of Optics. First use of controlled experiments and reproducibility of its results.
- 1020s – Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine
- 1054 – Various Early Astronomers: Observe supernova (modern designation SN 1054), later correlated to the Crab Nebula.
- Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī: beginning of Islamic astronomy and mechanics
- 1121 – Al-Khazini: variation of gravitation and gravitational potential energy at a distance; the decrease of air density with altitude
- Ibn Bajjah (Avempace): discovery of reaction (precursor to Newton's third law of motion)
- Hibat Allah Abu'l-Barakat al-Baghdaadi (Nathanel): relationship between force and acceleration (a vague foreshadowing of a fundamental law of classical mechanics and a precursor to Newton's second law of motion)
- Averroes: relationship between force, work and kinetic energy
- 1220–1235 – Robert Grosseteste: rudimentals of the scientific method (see also: Roger Bacon)
- 1242 – Ibn al-Nafis: pulmonary circulation and circulatory system
- Theodoric of Freiberg: correct explanation of rainbow phenomenon
- William of Saint-Cloud: pioneering use of camera obscura to view solar eclipses
- Before 1327 – William of Ockham: Occam's Razor
- Oxford Calculators: the mean speed theorem
- Jean Buridan: theory of impetus
- Nicole Oresme: discovery of the curvature of light through atmospheric refraction
- 1494 - Luca Pacioli: first codification of the Double-entry bookkeeping system, which slowly developed in previous centuries
- 1543 – Copernicus: heliocentric model
- 1543 – Vesalius: pioneering research into human anatomy
- 1552 – Michael Servetus: early research in Europe into pulmonary circulation
- 1570s – Tycho Brahe: detailed astronomical observations
- 1600 – William Gilbert: Earth's magnetic field
- 1609 – Johannes Kepler: first two laws of planetary motion
- 1610 – Galileo Galilei: Sidereus Nuncius: telescopic observations
- 1614 – John Napier: use of logarithms for calculation
- 1628 – William Harvey: Blood circulation
- 1638 - Galileo Galilei: laws of falling body
- 1643 – Evangelista Torricelli invents the mercury barometer
- 1662 – Robert Boyle: Boyle's law of ideal gas
- 1665 – Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society first peer reviewed scientific journal published.
- 1665 - Robert Hooke: Discovers the Cell
- 1668 – Francesco Redi: disproved idea of spontaneous generation
- 1669 – Nicholas Steno: Proposes that fossils are organic remains embedded in layers of sediment, basis of stratigraphy
- 1669 – Jan Swammerdam: Species breed true
- 1672 – Sir Isaac Newton: discovers that white light is a spectrum of a mixture of distinct coloured rays
- 1673 - Christiaan Huygens: first study of oscillating system and design of pendulum clocks
- 1675 – Leibniz, Newton: Infinitesimal calculus
- 1675 – Anton van Leeuwenhoek: Observes Microorganisms by Microscope
- 1676 – Ole Rømer: first measurement of the speed of light
- 1687 – Sir Isaac Newton: Classical Mathematical description of the fundamental force of universal gravitation and the three physical laws of motion
- 1745 – Ewald Jürgen Georg von Kleist first capacitor, the Leyden jar
- 1750 – Joseph Black: describes latent heat
- 1751 – Benjamin Franklin: Lightning is electrical
- 1761 - Mikhail Lomonosov: discovery of the atmosphere of Venus
- 1763 - Thomas Bayes: publishes the first version of Bayes' theorem, paving the way for Bayesian probability
- 1771 – Charles Messier: Publishes catalogue of astronomical objects (Messier Objects) now known to include galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae.
- 1778 – Antoine Lavoisier (and Joseph Priestley): discovery of oxygen leading to end of Phlogiston theory
- 1781 – William Herschel announces discovery of Uranus, expanding the known boundaries of the solar system for the first time in modern history
- 1785 – William Withering: publishes the first definitive account of the use of foxglove (digitalis) for treating dropsy
- 1787 – Jacques Charles: Charles' law of ideal gas
- 1789 – Antoine Lavoisier: law of conservation of mass, basis for chemistry, and the beginning of modern chemistry
- 1796 – Georges Cuvier: Establishes extinction as a fact
- 1796 - Edward Jenner: small pox historical accounting
- 1800 – Alessandro Volta: discovers electrochemical series and invents the battery
- 1802 – Jean-Baptiste Lamarck: teleological evolution
- 1805 – John Dalton: Atomic Theory in (Chemistry)
- 1820 – Hans Christian Ørsted discovers that a current passed through a wire will deflect the needle of a compass, establishing a deep relationship between electricity and magnetism (electromagnetism).
- 1824 – Carnot: described the Carnot cycle, the idealized heat engine
- 1827 – Georg Ohm: Ohm's law (Electricity)
- 1827 – Amedeo Avogadro: Avogadro's law (Gas law)
- 1828 – Friedrich Wöhler synthesized urea, destroying vitalism
- 1830 - Nikolai Lobachevsky created Non-Euclidean geometry
- 1831 – Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction
- 1833 – Anselme Payen isolates first enzyme, diastase
- 1838 – Matthias Schleiden: all plants are made of cells
- 1838 – Friedrich Bessel: first successful measure of stellar parallax (to star 61 Cygni)
- 1842 – Christian Doppler: Doppler effect
- 1843 – James Prescott Joule: Law of Conservation of energy (First law of thermodynamics), also 1847 – Helmholtz, Conservation of energy
- 1846 – William Morton: discovery of anesthesia
- 1846 – Johann Gottfried Galle and Heinrich Louis d'Arrest: discovery of Neptune
- 1848 – Lord Kelvin: absolute zero
- 1858 – Rudolf Virchow: cells can only arise from pre-existing cells
- 1859 – Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace: Theory of evolution by natural selection
- 1861 - Louis Pasteur: Germ theory
- 1865 – Gregor Mendel: Mendel's laws of inheritance, basis for genetics
- 1865 – Rudolf Clausius: Definition of Entropy
- 1869 – Dmitri Mendeleev: Periodic table
- 1871 – Lord Rayleigh: Diffuse sky radiation (Rayleigh scattering) explains why sky appears blue
- 1873 – James Clerk Maxwell: Theory of electromagnetism
- 1875 – William Crookes invented the Crookes tube and studied cathode rays
- 1876 – Josiah Willard Gibbs founded chemical thermodynamics, the phase rule
- 1877 – Ludwig Boltzmann: Statistical definition of entropy
- 1887 – Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley: lack of evidence for the aether
- 1895 – Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovers x-rays
- 1896 – Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity
- 1897 – J.J. Thomson discovers the electron in cathode rays
- 1898 – J.J. Thomson proposed the Plum pudding model of an atom
- 1898 – Marie Curie discovers polonium, radium, and coins the term "radioactivity"
- 1900 – Max Planck: Planck's law of black body radiation, basis for quantum theory
- 1905 – Albert Einstein: theory of special relativity, explanation of Brownian motion, and photoelectric effect
- 1906 – Walther Nernst: Third law of thermodynamics
- 1909 – Fritz Haber: Haber Process for industrial production of ammonia
- 1909 – Robert Andrews Millikan: conducts the Oil drop experiment and determines the charge on an electron
- 1911 – Ernest Rutherford: Atomic nucleus
- 1911 – Heike Kamerlingh Onnes: Superconductivity
- 1912 – Alfred Wegener: Continental drift
- 1912 – Max von Laue : x-ray diffraction
- 1913 – Henry Moseley: defined atomic number
- 1913 – Niels Bohr: Model of the atom
- 1915 – Albert Einstein: theory of general relativity – also David Hilbert
- 1915 – Karl Schwarzschild: discovery of the Schwarzschild radius leading to the identification of black holes
- 1918 – Emmy Noether: Noether's theorem – conditions under which the conservation laws are valid
- 1920 – Arthur Eddington: Stellar nucleosynthesis
- 1924 – Wolfgang Pauli: quantum Pauli exclusion principle
- 1924 – Edwin Hubble: the discovery that the Milky Way is just one of many galaxies
- 1925 – Erwin Schrödinger: Schrödinger equation (Quantum mechanics)
- 1925 – Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: Discovery of the composition of the Sun and that Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe
- 1927 – Werner Heisenberg: Uncertainty principle (Quantum mechanics)
- 1927 – Georges Lemaître: Theory of the Big Bang
- 1928 – Paul Dirac: Dirac equation (Quantum mechanics)
- 1929 – Edwin Hubble: Hubble's law of the expanding universe
- 1929 – Lars Onsager's reciprocal relations, a potential fourth law of thermodynamics
- 1932 – James Chadwick: Discovery of the neutron
- 1934 – Clive McCay: Calorie restriction extends the maximum lifespan of another species
- 1938 – Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner and Fritz Strassmann: Nuclear fission
- 1943 – Oswald Avery proves that DNA is the genetic material of the chromosome
- 1947 – William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain invent the first transistor
- 1948 – Claude Elwood Shannon: 'A mathematical theory of communication' a seminal paper in Information theory.
- 1948 – Richard Feynman, Julian Schwinger, Sin-Itiro Tomonaga and Freeman Dyson: Quantum electrodynamics
- 1951 – George Otto Gey propagates first cancer cell line, HeLa
- 1952 – Jonas Salk: developed and tested first polio vaccine
- 1953 – Crick and Watson: helical structure of DNA, basis for molecular biology
- 1963 – Lawrence Morley, Fred Vine, and Drummond Matthews: Paleomagnetic stripes in ocean crust as evidence of plate tectonics (Vine-Matthews-Morley hypothesis).
- 1964 – Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig: postulates quarks leading to the standard model
- 1964 – Arno Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson: detection of CMBR providing experimental evidence for the Big Bang
- 1965 – Leonard Hayflick: normal cells divide only a certain number of times: the Hayflick limit
- 1967 – Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish discover first pulsar
- 1983 – Kary Mullis invents the polymerase chain reaction, a key discovery in molecular biology.
- 1986 – Karl Müller and Johannes Bednorz: Discovery of High-temperature superconductivity
- 1994 - Andrew Wiles proves Fermat's Last Theorem
- 1995 – Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz definitively observe the first extrasolar planet around a main sequence star
- 1995 - Eric Cornell, Carl Wieman and Wolfgang Ketterle attained the first Bose-Einstein Condensate with atomic gases, so called fifth state of matter at extremely low temperature.
- 1997 – Roslin Institute: Dolly the sheep was cloned.
- 1997 – CDF and DØ experiments at Fermilab: Top quark.
- 1998 – Supernova Cosmology Project and the High-Z Supernova Search Team: discovery of the accelerated expansion of the Universe / Dark Energy.
- 2001 – The first draft of the human genome is completed.
- 2003 - Grigori Perelman presents proof of the Poincaré Conjecture.
- 2006 - Shinya Yamanaka generates first induced pluripotent stem cells
- 2010 – J. Craig Venter Institute creates the first synthetic genome for a bacterial cell.
- 2010 - The Neanderthal Genome Project presented preliminary genetic evidence that interbreeding did likely take place and that a small but significant portion of Neanderthal admixture is present in modern non-African populations.
- 2012 - Higgs boson is discovered at CERN (confirmed to 99.999% certainty)
- 2012 - Photonic molecules are discovered at MIT
- 2014 - Exotic hadrons are discovered at the LHCb
- Page 26, (2nd chapter) in: Ronald L. Numbers (ed.) Galileo Goes to Jail, and Other Myths about Science and Religion (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009). Note: the first tree chapters of the book can be found here .
- "Kirschner, Stefan, "Nicole Oresme", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2009 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)". Plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- L.M. Smith (2008-10-01). "Luca Pacioli: The Father of Accounting". Acct.tamu.edu. Retrieved 2011-08-11.
- "John Napier and logarithms". Ualr.edu. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- "JCVI: First Self-Replicating, Synthetic Bacterial Cell Constructed by J. Craig Venter Institute Researchers". jcvi.org. Retrieved 2013-02-12.