1836 in science
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- May 15 – Francis Baily, during an eclipse of the sun, observes the phenomenon named after him as Baily's beads.
- October 2 – Naturalist Charles Darwin returns to Falmouth, England, aboard HMS Beagle after a 5-year journey collecting biological data he will later use to develop his theory of evolution.
- Writer Georg Büchner's dissertation on the common barbel (fish), Barbus barbus, "Mémoire sur le Système Nerveux du Barbeaux (Cyprinus barbus L.)" is published in Paris and Strasbourg. In October, after receiving his doctorate, he is appointed by the University of Zurich as a lecturer in anatomy.
- Theodor Schwann discovers pepsin in extracts from the stomach lining, the first isolation of an animal enzyme.
- French chemist Auguste Laurent discovers o-phthalic acid (1,2-benzenecarboxylic acid) by oxidizing naphthalene tetrachloride.
- The chemical compound acetylene, also called ethyne, is discovered by Edmund Davy.
- James Marsh publishes the Marsh test for the presence of arsenic.
- October 24 – The earliest United States patent for a phosphorus friction match is granted to Alonzo Dwight Phillips of Springfield, Massachusetts.
- October 13 – Theodor Fliedner, a Lutheran minister, and Friederike, his wife, open the Deaconess Home and Hospital at Kaiserswerth, Germany, as an institute to train women in nursing.
- Nicholas Callan invents the first induction coil.
- Andrew Crosse's electrical experiment seems to produce strange insects, acarus calvanicus.
- February 25 – Samuel Colt receives a United States patent for the Colt revolver, the first revolving barrel multishot firearm.
- December – Victoria Bridge, Bath, England, opened, the first to use James Dredge's patent 'taper principle' of stays.
- James Nasmyth invents the shaper.
- February 5 – Alexander Stewart Herschel (died 1907), astronomer.
- May 17 – Norman Lockyer (died 1920), astronomer.
- May 28 – Alexander Mitscherlich (died 1918), chemist.
- June 9 – Elizabeth Garrett (died 1917), physician.
- July 20 – Thomas Clifford Allbutt (died 1925), physician.
- August 16 – John Peirce (died 1897), inventor.
- February 10 – Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze, French chemist (born 1758)
- June 10 – André-Marie Ampère (born 1775), physicist.
- September 9 – William Henry (born 1774), chemist (suicide).
- September 17 – Antoine Laurent de Jussieu (born 1748), botanist.
- Marsh, J. (1836). "Account of a method of separating small quantities of arsenic from substances with which it may be mixed". Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal. 21: 229–236.
- Callan, N. J. (December 1836). "On a new Galvanic battery". Philosophical Magazine. 3:9: 472–478.
- Callan, N. J. (April 1837). "A description of an electromagnetic repeater, or of a machine by which the connection between the voltaic battery and the helix of an electromagnet may be broken and renewed several thousand times in the space of one minute". Annals of Electricity. Sturgeon. 1: 229–230.
- Czarnik, Stanley A. (March 1992). "The classic induction coil". Popular Electronics. Archived from the original on 2016-10-30. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- Griffiths, R. A. (April 2009), "Analysis of James Dredge's Victoria Bridge, Bath" (PDF), Proceedings of Bridge Engineering 2 Conference 2009, University of Bath, retrieved 2012-11-23
- Smiles, Samuel (1912). James Nasmyth Engineer: an Autobiography. John Murray. Retrieved 2009-11-14.