1811 in science
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- Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger publishes Prodromus systematis mammalium et avium, an updating of Linnean taxonomy and a major influence on the concept of the 'Family' in biology. He first defines the infraclass Marsupialia.
- Peter Simon Pallas begins publication of Zoographia rosso-Asiatica, sistens omnium animalium in extenso Imperio rossico, et adjacentibus maribus observatorum recensionem, domicilia, mores et descriptiones, anatomen atque icones plurimorum in Saint Petersburg.
- Bernard Courtois discovers iodine.
- Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac and Louis Jacques Thénard publish Recherches Physico-Chimiques, faites sur la pile; sur la préparation chimique et les propriétés du potassium et du sodium; sur la décomposition de l'acide boracique; sur les acides fluorique, muriatique et muriatique oxigéné; sur l'action chimique de la lumière; sur l'analyse végétale et animale, etc. in Paris.
- Amedeo Avogadro proposes Avogadro's law, that equal volumes of gases under constant temperature and pressure contain equal number of molecules.
- June 10 – A volcanic eruption, observed from British sloop HMS Sabrina (1806), briefly creates Sabrina Island (Azores).
- Carl Friedrich Gauss works with functions of complex number variables.
- S. D. Poisson publishes Traité de mécanique (vol. 1).
- Charles Bell publishes An Idea of a New Anatomy of the Brain, starting to distinguish between sensory and motor nerves.
- Abraham Colles publishes A Treatise on Surgical Anatomy in Dublin.
- Francis Place publishes Illustrations and Proofs of the Principles of Population, including an examination of the proposed remedies of Mr. Malthus, and a reply to the objections of Mr. Godwin and others in London, the first significant text in English to advocate contraception.
- Friedrich Koenig, with the assistance of Andreas Friedrich Bauer, produces the first steam printing press, in London.
- March 2 – Hugh Edwin Strickland, English geologist and ornithologist (died 1853)
- March 11
- March 30 – Robert Bunsen, German chemist (died 1899)
- July 13 – James Young, Scottish chemist (died 1883)
- September 14 – William Budd, English physician and epidemiologist (died 1880)
- October 25 – Évariste Galois, French mathematician (died 1832)
- John Waterston, Scottish physicist and civil engineer (died 1883)
- February 9 – Nevil Maskelyne, English Astronomer Royal (born 1732)
- August 31 – Louis Antoine de Bougainville, French explorer (born 1729)
- September 8 – Peter Simon Pallas, German-born naturalist (born 1741)
- Swain, Patricia A. (2005). "Bernard Courtois (1777–1838), famed for discovering iodine (1811), and his life in Paris from 1798" (PDF). Bulletin for the History of Chemistry. 30: 103–11. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 14, 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-24.
- "Michael Faraday". Famous Physicists and Astronomers. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
- Crilly, Tony (2007). 50 Mathematical Ideas you really need to know. London: Quercus. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-84724-008-8.
- Bell, C; Shaw, A (1868). "Reprint of the "Idea of a New Anatomy of the Brain," with Letters, &c". J Anat Physiol. 3: 147–82. PMC 1318665. PMID 17230788.
- "Francis Place". Spartacus Educational. Archived from the original on 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
- Patented in 1810. Meggs, Philip B. (1998). A History of Graphic Design. Wiley. pp. 130–133. ISBN 0-471-29198-6.