1963 in science
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Astronomy and space exploration
- January 4 – Soviet Luna reaches Earth orbit but fails to reach the moon.
- May 15 – Mercury program: NASA launches the last mission of the program Mercury 9. (On June 12 NASA Administrator James E. Webb tells Congress the program is complete.)
- November 1 – The Arecibo Observatory, with the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, officially opens in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
- Geneticist J. B. S. Haldane coins the word "clone".
- Molecular biologist Emile Zuckerkandl and physical chemist Linus Pauling introduce the term paleogenetics.
- Konrad Lorenz publishes On Aggression (Das sogenannte Böse: Zur Naturgeschichte der Agression).
- Niko Tinbergen poses his four questions to be asked of any animal behavior.
- Sydney Brenner proposes the use of Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism for the investigation primarily of neural development in animals.
- September 7 – British geophysicists Fred Vine and Drummond Matthews publish proof of seafloor spreading on the Atlantic Ocean floor.
- November 14 – The Icelandic volcanic island of Surtsey appears above sea level.
History of science and technology
- April 1 – Industrial Monuments Survey for the Ministry of Public Building and Works (Great Britain) commenced by Rex Wailes.
- Kenneth Hudson's Industrial Archaeology: an introduction published in London.
- Paul Cohen uses forcing to prove that the continuum hypothesis and the axiom of choice are independent from Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory.
- Edward Lorenz publishes his discovery of the 'butterfly effect', significant in the development of chaos theory.
- Thomas Starzl performs the first liver transplantation, at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
- James D. Hardy performs the first lung transplantation.
- June – Guy Alexandre performs the first kidney transplantation from a heart-beating, brain-dead donor, at Saint Pierre Hospital, Leuven, Belgium.
- The type species of the early dinosaur Herrerasaurus, Herrerasaurus ischigualastensis from the north of Argentina, is described by Osvaldo Reig.
- David H. Frisch and J. H. Smith prove radioactive decay of mesons is slowed by their motion. (See Einstein's special relativity and general relativity.)
- Stanley Milgram publishes the results of his shock experiment on obedience to authority figures.
- Lava lamp invented by Edward Craven Walker.
- Mellotron Mark I electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard, developed and built in Aston, Birmingham, England, is marketed.
- Don Buchla begins to design an electronic music synthesizer in Berkeley, California.
- November 23 – First episode of science fiction television series Doctor Who broadcast by the BBC in the United Kingdom.
- Nobel Prizes
- January 4 – May-Britt Moser, Norwegian neuroscientist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- February 9 – Brian Greene, American theoretical physicist.
- February 10 – Vivian Wing-Wah Yam, Hong Kong chemist working on OLEDs.
- W. Tecumseh Fitch, American-born evolutionary biologist.
- Daniel Jackson, English-born American computer scientist.
- January 28 – Jean Piccard (born 1884), Swiss-born American chemist and explorer.
- April 6 – Otto Struve (born 1897), Russian astronomer.
- May 19 – Walter Russell (born 1871), American polymath.
- August 30 – Marietta Pallis (born 1882), British ecologist.
- October 13 – Alan A. Griffith (born 1893), English stress engineer.
- October 2 – Olga Lepeshinskaya (born 1871), Soviet Lysenkoist biologist.
- October 25 – Karl von Terzaghi (born 1883), Austrian "father of soil mechanics".
- Pauling, L.; Zuckerkandl, E. (1963). "Chemical paleogenetics: molecular restoration studies of extinct forms of life". Acta Chemica Scandinavica. 17: 89. doi:10.3891/acta.chem.scand.17s-0009.
- Tinbergen, Niko (1963). "On Aims and Methods in Ethology" (PDF). Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie. 20: 410–433. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.1963.tb01161.x.
- Snyder, John P. (1993). Flattening the Earth: Two Thousand Years of Map Projections. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-76747-7.
- The Hutchinson Factfinder. Helicon. 1999. ISBN 1-85986-000-1.
- Vine, F. J.; Matthews, D. H. (1963). "Magnetic Anomalies Over Oceanic Ridges" (PDF). Nature. 199 (4897): 947–949. Bibcode:1963Natur.199..947V. doi:10.1038/199947a0.
- Lorenz, Edward N. (March 1963). "Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow". Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 20 (2): 130–141. Bibcode:1963JAtS...20..130L. doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1963)020<0130:DNF>2.0.CO;2. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
- Machado, Calixto (2005). "The first organ transplant from a brain-dead donor". Neurology. 64 (11): 1938–42. doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000163515.09793.cb.
- Reig, O. A. (1963). "La presencia de dinosaurios saurisquios en los "Estratos de Ischigualasto" (Mesotriásico Superior) de las provincias de San Juan y La Rioja (República Argentina)". Ameghiniana (in Spanish). 3 (1): 3–20.
- American Journal of Physics 31: 342-355.
- "Behavioral Study of Obedience". Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. 67 (4): 371–378. October 1963. PMID 14049516. doi:10.1037/h0040525.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Howe, David J.; Stammers, Mark; Walker, Stephen James (1994). The Handbook: The First Doctor — The William Hartnell Years 1963–1966. London: Virgin Books. p. 54. ISBN 0-426-20430-1.
- "An Unearthly Child". Doctor Who: The Classic Series. BBC. 1995–2003. Retrieved 2012-06-08.