Talk:Timeline of chemistry

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Isn’t a chemistry timeline already in Wikipedia somewhere? Anyway, here’s a couple of other related timelines/history sections that I have either written or worked on, that might be helpful:

Talk later: --Sadi Carnot 16:39, 16 February 2007 (UTC)


If anyone has a problem with the following "early years" part:

  • c. 3000 BCE: Egyptians formulated the theory of the Ogdoad the “primordial forces”, from which all was formed; these were the elements of chaos, numbered in eight, that existed before the creation of the sun.

It can be noted that both Isaac Newton, in his Chronology, and Michael Maier, as well as others, were using these Egyptian theories in the 1680s to formulate the chronological order of how the elements were formed as based on the descendents of the Ogdoad, such Ham, Misraim, Phut, Canaan, etc., each being associated with a different element. --Sadi Carnot 18:16, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Revered by User:Jayron32[edit]

User Jayron32 revered this change (which I made):

To this (which he thinks is correct):

Per the comment: “changed latent heat entry back to Thermodynamics. Though he never used the word, his discovery clearly belong in THAT field, not thermochemistry, something else entirely.” Jayron is clearly wrong in this matter. The science of thermodynamics did not begin until 1824. I will revert back with an added a source to justify the correct version. If Jayron has further issues with this semantics detail I will seek out further references. If this fails, I will seek out “request for comment” at the various WikiProject pages and with interested Users. I hope this will not be the case. --Sadi Carnot 04:35, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

No need to get testy. Its rather soon to jump to an RfC, would you not say? Let's discuss this on the talk page like civilized people do, not simply threaten litigation over what amounts to the MOST minor of semantic differences. And "clearly wrong" is a bit harsh. Thermochemistry is merely the more specific term for thermodynamics of chemical processes. It's like me saying "This is a dog" and you saying "No, you are clearly wrong, its a cocker spaniel". We are both right, you are merely more specific. Thermodynamics is the study of the movement of energy; thermochemistry is the study of the movement of energy during a chemical process. There can be much debate over whether a phase change is in fact a chemical process, or, since no actual intra-molecular bonds are broken, merely a physical one. Also, merely because you find a source that uses the word "Thermochemistry" does not make "Thermodynamics" incorrect for the same reasons outlined above. Black probably used NEITHER term in his own work; yet the concept of latent heat clearly belongs within the realm of both. Though Carnot may be the "father" of thermodynamics, the entire discipline did not spring forth from his head fully formed like Athena from Zeus. Like ALL SCIENTISTS EVER, he clearly had the work of others to build from. Still, since a) you REALLY care alot and b) me not so much, you can win. I just want you to recognize that thermochemistry is merely a derivative field of thermodynamics and not some completely different discipline. --Jayron32 05:16, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
The world’s first ice-calorimeter, used in the winter of 1782-83, by Antoine Lavoisier and Pierre-Simon Laplace, to determine the heat evolved in various chemical changes; calculations which were based on Joseph Black’s prior discovery of latent heat. These experiments mark the foundation of thermochemistry.
Yes, sorry for getting hot-headed, but it would have been nicer if you had first jotted a note on the talk page, rather than abruptly reverting me. I happen to be presently reading Lavoisier’s Elements of Chemistry, where Black’s theories were first utilized. On February 15, for example, I uploaded the adjacent image (caption sourced out of Partington’s History of Chemistry).
Moreover, I am the main editor for the thermochemistry, chemical thermodynamics, thermodynamics, and heat articles. These are my favorites. I personally own more than 120 thermodynamics, thermal physics, thermochemistry, etc., related books. I understand they have overlap, but they are also each distinctly their own and have long and elaborate histories marked by certain discoveries. --Sadi Carnot 12:39, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Also, your date on this one entry is off by eight years? This leads me to question the rest of the dates on this page, which you started. Are you ball-parking dates by decades? --Sadi Carnot 05:04, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Nope. It was a typo. Based on the article Joseph Black in wikipedia, I had meant to state 1759 (which is the date that article gives) but if you notice, the 0 is next to the 9. Such things do happen, even among the best meaning of editors. Thank you for correcting it. --Jayron32 05:16, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and thanks for providing references. It was my intention to build the list first and then backfill my references later. This has been a big process, and it is still a very new article. The more references the better, and once I get this to some semblance of completion, I was planning to fill in more references. Thanks again for adding yours, and any more you can add would be MOST helpful. --Jayron32 05:21, 21 February 2007 (UTC)


What is the basis for the division between the "industrial era" and the "early modern" era? Is this in common use, or based on a published work? And more importantly, is this relevant to the history of chemistry? In my opinion, no, as there was no major revolution in chemistry around 1850. If I had to divide the history of chemistry from the renaissance to today into periods, I would place one split around the time of Lavoisier or Dalton, and another around the time of Rutherford and Lewis (both of which curiously almost exactly match the centuries!). I'm also happy if the entire time after renaissance is treated as one period. But the current division seems arbitrary to me. Itub 08:32, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I changed it to something just as arbitrary, but more equitably so. How does this look? We need some sort of breaks for readability anyways. --Jayron32 02:53, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Of course, all periodizations are arbitrary to some extent. :) Anyway, I like the new one better. Centuries may be arbitrary, but at least they are clear and everyone can agree where they begin and end (give or take one year ;-). --Itub 08:39, 22 February 2007 (UTC)


Some of the entries in the list (including several that I added) could be considered inventions or theoretical developments rather than discoveries. I think these are perfectly fine and useful and I don't think they should be deleted, but maybe we could mention in the introduction that "discovery" is being used loosely and also includes some inventions and theoretical developments? --Itub 09:48, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

You know, that struck me too. I will move the page so as the title is more consistent. "Timeline of chemistry" is probably appropriate, eh? --Jayron32 17:30, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Do we really need references here?[edit]

Maybe this will be an unpopular opinion, but I don't think this article really needs references, except perhaps for controversial entries. Every entry here links both to the article about the scientist and an article about the topic, places where references either exist already or would be very welcome. But to duplicate those references here when they are just one click away will make this page twice as long (and unnecessarily IMO). Omitting references when only mentioning (and linking to) another article is common practice for "summary style" articles and is encouraged by the scientific citation guidelines in some cases. --Itub 09:00, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I can understand the sentiment above, and I agree with it myself. However, my opinion on the matter is moot. This article is nearly ready for nomination as a featured list, IMHO, and what is needed to get it ready for feature status is referencing. To quote WP:WIAFL, the relevent criteria for featured lists, criteria #1(a) states, and I quote, "The list is a timeline of important events on a notable topic, the inclusion of which can be objectively sourced."(empasis mine) and criteria #1(c) states "Claims are supported with specific evidence and external citations (see verifiability and reliable sources); this involves the provision of a "References" section in which sources are set out and, where appropriate, complemented by inline citations." Again, while I feel that the level of referencing I am doing is overkill, having sat in on Featured Article discussions, one of the biggest impediments (other than NPOV) is proper referencing. Common sense may dictate that WP:SCG is a better guideline, but consensus during featuring debates clearly shows otherwise... --Jayron32 19:45, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
References are good; however, we should use a mixture and try to source the original publication, if possible. For example, 20 present references go to Chemical Achievers, which weakens our article a bit; not that I don’t like the Chemical Achievers website, but rather a variety of sources is better. --Sadi Carnot 12:51, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Good point. If you have any references to add, that would be great. While original publications can be cool, it should be noted the policy WP:ATT, which has replaced the keystone policies of WP:V and WP:OR, deprecates the use of primary sources (i.e. original resources as published by the original reseatrcher) in favor of secondary sources. To quote the relevent policy: "Wikipedia articles should rely on reliable, published secondary sources wherever possible." By secondary, they mean article, books, journals, etc. that summararize and provide context for important ideas like the discoveries in this timeline. Simply put, the primary source, like the works that first published the research we are putting together in this timeline, can establish the existence of said research, but cannot establish the importance of said research. In order for an idea to be notable, someone BESIDES the people that published it must say so. We need to reference THOSE people when building a timeline like this. To put it another way, since we are saying in this article "This discovery by this chemist is important" we need to find a source that says THAT, not merely that reports the said discovery. Therefore, the prefered reference are not the original publications, but rather reliable sources that say "These are the most important ideas in chemistry, and this is who and when they were discovered." Chemical Achievers is merely one website that I found that does a decent job of providing that reference. For the record, I agree with you on the idea of a variety of sources. I would LOVE to see more references, and welcome and invite you and everyone else to add more. I am pretty sure I have mined Chemical Achievers for all that is there, I fully plan to cite more websites and books as I find stuff. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jayron32 (talkcontribs) 02:45, 27 February 2007 (UTC).
I disagree. The single most important reference for a (modern) chemical discovery is the original publication. An additional reference about the importance of the discovery is nice, but less essential IMO because it is just someone else's opinion and you have many opinions to choose from, as opposed to the unique original publication, which is completely objective. Yes, what to add to this list will be a bit subjective, but so it is with everything we add to Wikipedia. I don't adhere to the view that Wikipedia editors are robots that shouldn't be allowed to decide what to add. In addition, to convincingly prove the importance of every entry in this list would require several references per entry, which is again excessive IMO, and the reason I advocate deferring the references to the more specific articles. I tend to see timelines as quick lists that organize and link to other articles chronologically for convenience (basically, an index), and not as a formal scholarly work in their own right. --Itub 09:26, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Again, I agree with you. However, my opinion is not important, and neither is yours. The question is, does Wikipedia agree with you and I. It does not. The relevent policy, WP:ATT clearly deprecates the use of primary sources explicitly because they do not provide context. If I say, in an article, that Joseph Preistly discovered oxygen on XXXX date, that is one thing, and could perhaps cite the paper he wrote first describing it. However, what a list like this does is say "The fact that Joseph Priestly discovered oxygen is an important event and worthy of note." It is impossible to establish importance and worth from Priestly's own article. We should reference those people who came after Priestly and THEMSELVES have stated that his discovery is important. Otherwise, it is simply my own ORIGINAL OPINION that his discovery is worthy of inclusion, and thus, it is original research, which is verboten under policies like WP:ATT. It seems a simple disctinction, but without it, we could populate this article with every novel discovery in JACS or any other Journal and simply claim that since JACS (as the primary source) establishes when the discovery was made, it is worthy of inclusion. Such an idea is clearly silly, and thus we need MORE than the original publication. We need secondary sources to provide context and import and worthiness of inclusion in the list. --Jayron32 23:00, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I think you are following the rules overzealously, but maybe that's because you want to get the list featured. I guess I can't complain since you are doing all the work, and I frankly don't care about articles getting featured or not, but only about usefulness and practicality. I guess references don't hurt, so keep up the good work. --Itub 10:46, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Ok, let's leave this discussion behind. A good source you can use to justify the importance of some of the discoveries in the late 19th and 20th centuries is (in the case of discoveries that were rewarded with a Nobel Prize, of course). --Itub 11:07, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Referencing push, almost done[edit]

We have a few more entries to reference, certainly not more than a few dozen. Any more help would be appreciated. I plan to nominate this list for Featured status as soon as the referencing is complete. Thanks again for everyone's help so far... --Jayron32|talk|contribs 04:05, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Potential inconsistancy needs addressing[edit]

We now have two entries for the first chemistry textbook, by Beguin in 1615 and by Lavoisier in 1789. Should we:

  1. eliminate the word "first" from each, and replace with "early".
  2. elminate the word "first" from Lavoisier, and leave it in Beguin
  3. add "one of the..." to each entry
  4. leave it as-is

Well, what do y'all think? --Jayron32|talk|contribs 05:26, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

It's a bit subjective, because it depends on the definition of "chemistry" and "textbook". ;-) The entry for Lavoisier does say "modern chemistry", which is a bit more specific. I think most people would agree that "modern" chemistry began around the time of Lavoisier, or Boyle at the earliest, which excludes Beguin's textbook from being "modern chemistry". Therefore the current entries are arguably not contradicting each other. My preference would be to call Beguin's "an early" or "one of the earliest" textbooks, and Lavoisier's "widely regarded as the first modern chemistry textbook" (although some might object to "widely regarded" as being weasely...). --Itub 08:13, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Of course, a quick search of Google books shows that indeed many authors talk of Lavoisier's book as the "first modern chemistry textbook" [1]. There are also a few relevant results about Begin [2], but not as many as for Lavoisier, and they don't seem to say "modern". --Itub 08:45, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I'll add the reference for Lavoisier. Beguins might be better as "Early"... I'll change that too. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 23:47, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Link spam listed[edit]

User:KyraVixen removed a URL that was part of a reference to the first item in the "Early years" section. I tried to revert this as it was not an external link, but a reference to a source. I was prevented from doing this since that link appears to be spam listed. What goes? --Bduke 05:25, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

The references has been replaced by KyraVixen by a new reference that works just as well. The issue is part of a larger problem with how the spam-blacklist is maintened and operates. The Village Pump has a section dealing with this if it interets you. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 06:11, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Close-Packed Spheron Model[edit]

I must confess that I had never heard of the Close-Packed Spheron Model. Apparently there's no wikipedia article about it yet. And the reference given (the Nobel website) doesn't seem to mention it either. Is it notable enough for this timeline? I haven't found anything yet to justify it, but I'd be happy to see some references (but even if it is notable, one could argue that it is a topic in nuclear physics). --Itub 13:22, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

I must confess that I got it from the Wikipedia article on Linus Pauling, and would agree that a) its not that popular a model and b) probably not that significant of an event and should be removed. I will be doing so presently. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 06:11, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Left to do[edit]

Referencing is pretty much done to the end ot the 19th century. Left to do:

*Reference the 20th century stuff *Clean up all entries for consistent format and grammar

    • Pick a style and stick to it
    • Pick a tense and stick to it

**Some entries have awkward prose, need to clean up a few*Maybe more pictures? Not sure we need them, looks good now. *Nominate for Featured List when done all of above. Any other ideas anyone? Looking good so far! --Jayron32|talk|contribs 04:00, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Featured List Nominee[edit]

I have nominated this article for inclusion as a featured list. Please compare this article to the criteria listed at WP:WIAFL and make comments on this articles nomination at WP:FLC --Jayron32|talk|contribs 20:10, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Computational chemistry[edit]

What about the contributions from computational chemists? Maybe a note about density functional theory should be added. --HappyCamper 11:54, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Currently the only items somehow related with computational chemistry are Hückel, 1931, and Hoffmann, 1965. One that should definitely be added IMO is Heitler and London's treatment of the hydrogen molecule (1927?). We could also add the recipients of the 1998 Nobel Prize, although the exact timing and attribution of the development of ab initio computational chemistry might be a bit blurry. Another candidate for addition, although not for exactly computational chemistry, is Rudolph A. Marcus. --Itub 12:05, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
How about the work of Cizek and Paldus wrt coupled cluster theory? That would be a good milestone to add too. --HappyCamper 12:11, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I've added the entry for Heitler and London. I don't know about the Coupled-cluster yet, I'll have to think about it. A question I have is: what do people here think about moving Pauling, 1939 (publication of the book The Nature of the Chemical Bond) to 1931 (publication of the J. Am. Chem. Soc. article of the same name)? --Itub 11:51, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree re Pauling. The paper is the important one, but the book should remain as it convinced experimental chemists that quantum theory was useful. I also agree with HC re Cizek and Paldus. I think we should also mention the James-Coolidge wavefunction for H2, as it was the first exact agreement with experiment for more than a one-electron system. It convinced people that the Schrodinger Eqn did work for molecules. --Bduke 12:30, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
How about the Chicago school (very early ab initio on diatomics)? How about Pople and his Gaussian programs? Density functional? --P.wormer 13:16, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Some specific reactions[edit]

Some items to consider, which I'm undecided whether to add or not, are the olefin metathesis reaction, the Sharpless epoxidation, and the asymmetric hydrogenation reactions of Noyori and Knowles. There have been some questions about why there are no more recent developments on the list. An obvious place to look is the list of recent Nobel Prizes. However, most recent awards have been in areas that could better be considered as biochemistry or molecular biology, and are too specific for this list. I think the two most recent awards that could be considered "pure chemistry" are for the reactions I just mentioned (2001 and 2005). But did they really "significantly changed mankind's understanding of chemistry", as meant for a general list like this one? They are clearly important advances within their areas of chemistry, especially due to their practical utility, but should we start listing specific reactions? There are way too many important reactions, and the list could be swamped by them (maybe one day we will have a timeline of synthetic chemistry ;-). I have a hard time thinking of anything "earth-shattering enough" after the 1960s. --Itub 12:23, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

The 2005 prize involves work on metathesis. I don't think metathesis reactions normally occur in nature, but let me verify that first. That's something for sure if it's the case. --HappyCamper 12:32, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Metathesis reactions in the general sense certainly occur in nature. But olefin metathesis doesn't, as far as I know. --Itub 12:44, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Certain reactions are vital for their paradigm-shifting nature on understanding chemistry, like Wohler's Urea Synthesis, for example, or probably the Haber process. Also, certain reactions and processes literally founded an entire industry (Bakelite, Perkins Mauve, Petroleum cracking). However, other important synthetic reactions, such as like the Williamson Ether Synthesis, or Friedel-Crafts Alkonylation, etc. etc., while important enough to be covered in even an elementary Organic class, are probably not important enough to fill up the entire list with. As Itub mentions, timeline for specific subdisciplines would be more appropriate to put these things in.--Jayron32|talk|contribs 20:16, 16 April 2007 (UTC)


Does there really need to be a listing for fullerenes 1985 and carbon nanotube 1991? Some of the suggestions above are good. Her is a list of subjects I would consider adding something on chiral catalysis, olefin metathesis, olefin polymerization, femtosecond spectroscopy, laser in general, multi-dimensional NMR, more specifically protein NMR, density-functional theory, integrated circuit, or Marcus theory would be worth adding.--OMCV (talk) 06:34, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, in my opinion both are valid major discoveries. Certainly, the chemistry is similar, but the specific application of the nanotube takes it a novel direction worth noting. As to the other additions, if you have valid references for these advances, go ahead and add them!. We welcome well-referenced additions to this timeline. 06:37, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Arab and Persian chemists[edit]

I just read the list, and I found it great. Every major event in Chemistry is clearly mentioned and explained, however, I noticed that the events involving Arab and Persian chemists are rather vague (here's the dates :750, 850, 1000 & 1377). Most of them contain only this sentence ...refutes the practice of alchemy and the theory of the transmutation of metals., which seems to be copy-pasted. It would be better if you add more explanation as to what works these chemists have done to lead them to this conclusion and what are their exact contribution to chemistry. Thank you. Eklipse (talk) 15:02, 15 June 2008 (UTC)


the history of chemistry; Making colored pigments for use in paintings and cosmetics • Fermenting grain and fruit into beer and wine • Converting milk into cheese • Making dyes • Rendering fats into soap • Producing pottery, enamel and glazes • Separating copper and other metals from their ores • Making alloys like bronze • Making glass • Separating useful chemicals from plants for use as medicines if some one could date these and add them it would help the article. J8079s (talk) 20:12, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

These are interesting suggestions, but I'm not sure if they really are within the scope of this list. Although obviously they involve chemical reactions, these were all technical discoveries that long predated chemistry as a science (you might as well include the discovery of fire and cooking!) Until now, most of the ancient and medieval entries that have been included in the list are of a theoretical nature (atoms, elements...) --Itub (talk) 11:07, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually Zosimos writes about cooking as a act of transformation. Fire is of primary importance but you are right, it is the attempts to explain the world around us that gave us science. The early theories have one thing in common, they are wrong, but each step was of some interest. Could this stuff go in the intro maybe? Please give it some thought. Thank you. J8079s (talk) 19:03, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Arab and persian alchemists[edit]

The covering of the arabs and persian alchemists in the article is really a disgrace, full of mistakes and distortions. Many claims of discovery are simply wrong, and they are backed and questionable sources like "The making of humanity", the "famous muslims" website, "the science and technology in Islam" website (a site with a political agenda, owned by the same guy of "Muslimheritage"), and the books of the mentally unbalanced arabist Paul Kraus.

All of the subtances attributed to Geber were really discovered by an anonymous 13th century alchemist called "Pseudo Geber". Nitric acid, aqua regia, Sulphuric acid and all those things were discovered by him, not by Geber. Sulfuric acid was discovered by other alchemists like Vincent of Beauvis and Albertus Magnus, because the arabs only worked with vitriol (not the same as sulfuric acid).

Similarly, the distillation of wine was never done by arab alchemists. Not even by the greeks who were the inventors of distillation. Serious science historians give the priority to the school of salerno in the 12th century.

I´ll fix this mess as soon as I can. Thanks for reading.--Knight1993 (talk) 19:20, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Inclusion criteria and completeness[edit]

There was a thread at WT:CHEM#Timeline of chemistry potentially on Main Page about this list, and having looked at the article, I am unsure about (a) what criteria are being used to select information for inclusion (or exclusion) and (b) relatedly, the issue of completeness of the list. Reproduced from that discussion, here are some discoveries / achievements that I can think of that might be worth including:

  • the discovery of Zeise's salt, the first organometallic compound, circa 1830
  • Mond's work on nickel tetracarbonyl producing an industrial process for refining nickel metal using organometallic chemistry, circa 1890
  • the Dewar-Chatt-Duncanson model that finally allowed the bonding in compounds like Zeise's salt and nickel tetracarbonyl to be understood, opening up organometallic chemistry to systematic study, circa 1950s
  • Lowry-Brønsted acid-base theory, the basic theory of acids and bases established in 1923 and still studied by every student of chemistry. Though not as powerful as Lewis acid-base theory postulated the same year, L-B theory is typically used unless Lewis theory is needed (ie. a bit like using Newtonian mechanics unless situations require invoking relativity)
  • Nothing on room temperature ionic liquids despite them being used in industrial applications and displaying properties unlike other solvents... on which subject, green chemistry and the use of supercritical fluids might be worth mentioning. The 2005 Nobel Prize specifically recognised the contribution of green chemistry to metathesis processes.
  • Ziegler-Natta methods for stereoregular polymerisation ('63 Nobel Prize) - as at 2010, industrial production using Ziegler-Natta catalysts exceeds 100 million tons annually, and as one of the largest production industrial chemicals in the world, surely it is important to the timeline of chemistry
  • Fischer–Tropsch processes for the manufacture of hydrocarbons from CO and H2 have a history going back to the 1920s, and have connections to present research on dealing with CO2 and to migratory insertion reactions such as in the Monsanto and Cativa processes for manufacture of acetic acid by carbonylation of methanol
  • Lonhort and Hodgkin's X-ray work in vitamin B12 system demonstrated a cobalt-carbon bond, showing organometallic systems extend into biochemistry in 1961, and led to medications like methylcobalamin
  • No mention of the contributions of Sir Humphrey Davy, who discovered / first isolated sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, barium, and boron (from memory), demonstrated the Lavoisier's notions of acidity being due to oxygen was wrong (he showed that what we now know as hydrochloric acid contains no oxygen), and formulated a new theory of acids
  • Nothing on Davy's greatest discovery, Michael Faraday who should at least be mentioned for his laws of electrolysis if not also for being the first to prepare and report on nanoparticles
  • I notice that Volta is mentioned but Galvani is not
  • no Walther Nernst of the 1920 Nobel Prize-winning work in thermodynamics, also known for the Nernst equation
  • no Rowland, Molina, and Crutzen - Nobel Prize on ozone chemistry, understanding the Ozone hole, etc
  • no Walter Haworth and his Nobel Prize-winning work on vitamin C and carbohydrate structures
  • Discoveries like the Diels-Alder reaction and Grignard reaction would be on my list
  • No mention of supramolecular chemistry, the so-called "chemistry beyond the molecule"

I am sure there can be disagreement about some of these, and have no doubt that other chemists will have other suggestions for editing the list. Thoughts? EdChem (talk) 08:42, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree with you. I think some topics are not strongly related to chemistry too, for example:
  • Niels Bohr introduces concepts of quantum mechanics to atomic structure by proposing what is now known as the Bohr model of the atom, where electrons exist only in strictly defined orbitals
  • Otto Stern and Walther Gerlach establish concept of quantum mechanical spin in subatomic particles
  • Louis de Broglie introduces the wave-model of atomic structure, based on the ideas of wave-particle duality.
  • Erwin Schrödinger proposes the Schrödinger equation, which provides a mathematical basis for the wave model of atomic structure.
  • Werner Heisenberg develops the uncertainty principle which, among other things, explains the mechanics of electron motion around the nucleus.
  • James Chadwick discovers the neutron.
  • Pyotr Kapitsa, John Allen and Don Misener produce supercooled helium-4, the first zero-viscosity superfluid, a substance that displays quantum mechanical properties on a macroscopic scale.
  • Otto Hahn discovers the process of nuclear fission in uranium and thorium.

I think we should avoid topics related to physics unless they are necessary to understand chemistry. Thoughts? OTAVIO1981 (talk) 17:08, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Update External Link[edit]

I am the program coordinator of the ACS-National Historic Chemical Landmarks program. I have updated the reference to ACS-NHCL web content (Ref. 126), as that page have been replaced by ( KLindblom (talk) 21:02, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Hermes Trismegistus[edit]

I can't understand why Hermes Trismegistus appears in the timeline at "c. 1900 B.C.". The cited reference contains no mention of this period. Instead, the reference states: It was to this powerful god that the Egyptian Hermeticists of the second and third centuries A.D. joined the image and especially the name of the Greek Hermes. From this time onward the name "Hermes" came to denote neither Thoth nor Hermes proper, but a new archetypal figure, Hermes Trismegistus, who combined the features of both. Thus, it seems to me that "c. 200" (AD) should be more correct. --Albris (talk) 14:36, 27 April 2014 (UTC)