Timeline of particle physics
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The timeline of particle physics lists the sequence of particle physics theories and discoveries in chronological order. The most modern developments follow the scientific development of the discipline of particle physics.
- 1815 – William Prout hypothesizes that all matter is built up from hydrogen, adumbrating the proton;
- 1838 – Richard Laming hypothesized a subatomic particle carrying electric charge;
- 1858 – Julius Plücker produced cathode rays;
- 1874 – George Johnstone Stoney hypothesizes a minimum unit of electric charge. In 1891, he coins the word electron for it;
- 1886 – Eugene Goldstein produced anode rays;
- 1897 – J. J. Thomson discovered the electron;
- 1899 – Ernest Rutherford discovered the alpha and beta particles emitted by uranium;
- 1900 – Paul Villard discovered the gamma ray in uranium decay.
- 1905 – Albert Einstein hypothesized the photon to explain the photoelectric effect.
- 1911 – Ernest Rutherford discovered the nucleus of an atom;
- 1919 – Ernest Rutherford discovered the proton;
- 1928 – Paul Dirac postulated the existence of positrons as a consequence of the Dirac equation;
- 1930 – Wolfgang Pauli postulated the neutrino to explain the energy spectrum of beta decays;
- 1932 – James Chadwick discovered the neutron;
- 1932 – Carl D. Anderson discovered the positron;
- 1935 – Hideki Yukawa predicted the existence of mesons as the carrier particles of the strong nuclear force;
- 1936 – Carl D. Anderson discovered the muon while he studied cosmic radiation;
- 1947 – George Dixon Rochester and Clifford Charles Butler discovered the kaon, the first strange particle;
- 1947 – Cecil Powell, César Lattes and Giuseppe Occhialini discovered the pion;
- 1955 – Owen Chamberlain, Emilio Segrè, Clyde Wiegand, and Thomas Ypsilantis discovered the antiproton;
- 1956 – Clyde Cowan and Frederick Reines discovered the (electron) neutrino;
- 1957 – Bruno Pontecorvo postulated the flavor oscillation;
- 1962 – Leon M. Lederman, Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger discovered the muon neutrino;
- 1967 – Bruno Pontecorvo postulated neutrino oscillation;
- 1974 – Burton Richter and Samuel Ting discovered the J/ψ particle composed of charm quarks;
- 1977 – Upsilon particle discovered at Fermilab, demonstrating the existence of the bottom quark;
- 1977 – Martin Lewis Perl discovered the tau lepton after a series of experiments;
- 1979 – Gluon observed indirectly in three-jet events at DESY;
- 1983 – Carlo Rubbia and Simon van der Meer discovered the W and Z bosons;
- 1995 – Top quark discovered at Fermilab;
- 2000 – Tau neutrino proved distinct from other neutrinos at Fermilab.
- 2012 – Higgs boson-like particle discovered at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC).