Chronology of Scientific Developments


1514 Polish astronomer Nicolas Copernicus publishes ____, suggesting that the earth moves around the sun.

1536 Paracelsus publishes The Great Surgery Book.

1543 Copernicus publishes De Revolutionibus Orbium Caoelestium (The Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), and dies shortly thereafter.

? Dutch engineer and mathematician Simon Stevin dropped weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, an experiment later attributed to Galileo Galilei. Stevin is credited with introducing decimals into common usage.

1556 Georgius Agricola's De re Metallica (On Metals) published posthumously.

1569 Gerardus mercater publishes his Mercator projection world map.

1572 Tycho Brahe observes a supernova in Cassiopeia constellation.

158__ Galileo Galilei discovers that the time of a pendulum swing is independent of the length of the arc.

1590 Dutch Spectacle maker Zacharias Janssen invents the compound microscope.

1596 Johannes Kepler publishes Mysterium cosmographicum.

1600 Kepler becomes Brahe's assistant in Brahe's observatory near Prague.

1608 Hans Lippershey sells a refracting telescope to the Dutch government.

1609 Kepler publishes Brahe's calculation of the orbit of Mars, revealing his first and second laws of planetary motion.

Galileo Galilei constructs his telescope.

1610 Galilei discovers Jupiter's 4 largest moons.

1613 Galilei publishes work on sunspots.

1614 Scottish mathematician John Napier publishes the first logarithmic table Mirifici logarithmorum canonis descriptio, and coins the word "logarithm."

1619 Kepler publishes De cometis and Harmonice mundi, in which he announces his third law of planetary motion.

11101619 Rene Descartes has 3 dreams, and comes to believe that all knowledge can be revealed by the use of reason and mathematics.

162__ Galilei publishes paper on the scientific method.

1628 English physician William Harvey publishes Exercitatio anatomica de motu cordis et sanguinis in animalibus (On the Movement of the Heart and Blood in Animals).

1632 Galilei publishes Dialogo . . . sopra I due massimi sistemi del mondo, supporting Copernicus' view that the planets circled the sun.

1633 Galilei is prosecuted by the Inquisition in Rome, and abjurs his erroneous views.

1635 Founding of Academie Francaise.

1638 Galilei publishes Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences.

1644 Italian Evangelista Torricelli invents the barometer, and publishes De Sphaere.

1655 Dutch mathematician Christiaan Huygens develops a new method for grinding telescope lenses, making a more powerful telescope, with which he discovers one moon of Saturn and the rings of Saturn, published in 1659 in Systema Saturnium.

1659 AngloIrish physicist and chemist Robert Boyle develops an air pump for creating vacuums, confirms Galilei's view that bodies fall in a vacuum at the same rate, regardless of weight; discovers that sound does not travel in a vacuum.

1663 Royal Society of England chartered.

1662 Boyle develops Boyle's Law, that the volume of a gas varies _______ with its pressure.

1665 Englishman Robert Hooke publishes Micropgraphia.

Isaac Newton graduates from Cambridge University.

16__ Christiaan Huygens designs a pendulum which swings in exactly equal time _______, and adapts it to the first reliable mechanical clock.

1666 Isaac Newton develops calculus ("fluxions").

Great Fire of London destroys the library of the College of Physicians.

1669 Robert Hooke observes that the star Gamma Draconis has a parallax of 30 seconds of arc; German alchemist Hennig Brand discovers phosphorus, the first new element found since ancient times.

1672 Newton sends brief exposition of his theory of colors to the Royal Society in London, which republishes it in the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions, leading to criticism of Newton.

1674 Dutchman Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek discovers onecelled bacteria in marsh water using his microscope.

1675 Leibniz develops differential calculus.

1678 Dutchman Christiaan Huygens discovers the polarization of light.

1679 Robert Hooke writes Newton, suggesting that planets would travel in a straight line but for a constant diversion from this movement around a central point of attraction. Newton did not reply.

1683 Leeuwenhoek sent his report to the Royal Society of London regarding "animalcules" found in water, the human mouth, and the human digestive tract.

1684 Newton is visited by British astronomer and mathematician Edmund Halley. Newton publishes De Motu ("Of Movement").

1687 Newton publishes Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica ("Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy"), setting out Newton's three laws of motion.

1688 Newton constructs the first reflecting telescope.

1690 John Locke publishes Essay Concerning Human Understanding.

1703 Newton elected President of the Royal Society.

1704 Newton publishes Optiks.

1799 French troops under Napolean Bonaparte discover Rosetta Stone.

1801 Thomas Young publishes proof of the principle of interference of light, supporting the wave theory of light. Young helps to break the translations of the Rosetta Stone.

1803 Chemist John Dalton puts forth the theory of the atom.

1807 Thomas Young publishes A Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy and the Mechanical Arts, which introduces the modern concept of energy. Posited the Young-Helmholtz theory of color vision, and described astigmatism.

____ Amadeo conti di Quaregna Avogadro published his hypothesis that equal volumes of gases under identical pressure and temperature contain the same number of molecules. The number is called "Avagadro's number," 6.02252 x 1023.

1822 Jean Champollion presents his translations of the hieroglyphics on the Rosetta Stone to the French Academy.

1825 Michael Faraday discovers benzene.

1831 Englishman Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction.

1834 Faraday promulgates Faraday's Law.

1856 Workmen uncover cave in Neander Valley, near Dusseldorf, Germany, containing bones identified as Neandertal Man. [More]

1859 Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species.

1868 Railroad workers discover a cave in the cliffs of Les Eyzies in the Vezere valley in the Dordogne, containing five human skeletons identified as CroMagnon Man.

1869 Russian Dmitri Mendeleev publishes the Periodic Table of the Elements.

1872 Charles Darwin publishes The Descent of Man.

1873 Scotsman James Clerk Maxwell publishes A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, stating his electromagnetic theory.

1887 Heinrich Herz discovers radio waves.

A.A. Michelson and E.W. Morley experimentally demonstrate the constancy of the speed of light.

1891 Frenchman Dubois discovers Homo erectus.

1894 Michelson says that the future of science would consist of "adding a few decimal places to the results already obtained."

1895 Rontgen publishes his finding that Xrays penetrate opaque matter.

? Johann Balmer publishes his discovery of absorption lines of light passing through hydrogen gas.

1896 J.J. Thompson discovers the electron.

12-14 1900 Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck, in a lecture to the German Physical Society, announces that matter absorbs heat energy and emits light energy discontinuously, giving birth to quantum mechanics.

1903 Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky publishes The Investigation of Outer Space by Means of Reaction Apparatus.

1905 Einstein publishes his paper, ___, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 19__ (?).

1911 Niels Bohr joins J.J. Thomson at Cavendish Laboratory.

1918 Observations during solar eclipse confirm General Theory of Relativity.

1921 Einstein receives the Nobel Prize in Physics for ___.

1922 Bohr lectures at ___, and meets Werner Heisenberg.

1923 Louis Victor de Broglie publishes doctoral dissertation positing that electrons circle the atom in a standing wave. The momentum of the particle is equal to Planck's constant h, divided by the wavelength L (p = h/L).

Erwin Schroedinger publishes a mathematical equation describing changing wave patterns inside an atom.

Max Born posits that the electron (?) Wave is not the real particle, but rather a probability function of the electron's whereabouts.

1925 ___ discovers Australopithecus in ___, Africa.

1926 Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger announced his mathematical formulation of wave mechanics. For Schroedinger's equation, he received the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics.

American Robert H. Goddard ignites first liquid fuel rocket.

1927 The Fifth Solvay Conference.

Bohr announces the Principle of Complimentarity.

1929 Tsiolkovsky presents design of multistage rocket, and proposed satellites and manned space stations as starting point for space travel.

1931 Einstein leaves Berlin and immigrates to the USA.

10-15 1935 Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen publish their article, "Can Quantummechanical Description of Physical Reality be Considered Complete?" in The Physical Review.

1937 Scientists bombard the element molybdenum (42 protons) with atomic particles in a cyclatron, adding a proton and creating the first artificial element, technetium (43 protons).

1938 Italian Enrico Fermi receives the Nobel Price in Physics, but leaves Stockholm with his Jewish wife and emigrates to the USA; Germans discover nuclear fission.

08-02 1939 Leo Szilard, Edward Teller, and Albert Einstein compose letter to U.S.A. President Franklin D. Roosevelt advising him of the prospect of creating a nuclear chain reaction using uranium, for the purpose of generating energy and also creating a bomb large enough to destroy a city. Einstein encouraged President Roosevelt to appoint a liaison between research physicists and government departments, to increase funding for research, and to secure a supply of uranium ore for the U.S.A.

10-11 1939 Einstein's letter delivered by Alexander Sacks to President Roosevelt.

19__ Bohr escapes from German imprisonment to the British, and is flow to USA

194_ Norwegian government minister Dautry sends Norway's store of heavy water to France. Frederic JoliotCurie sends them to England by submarine.

1941 Using atomic bombardment, scientists create plutonium (94 protons).

12-__ 1942 Italian scientist Enrico Fermi, working on a secret US government project, creates first self-sustaining nuclear reaction, in a squash court at Chicago University, Illinois USA. He produces producing enough power to run a flashlight.

7-16 1945 Plutonium atomic bomb exploded at Trinity Site in New Mexico desert.

10-04 1957 USSR launches Sputnik I, man's first artificial satellite.

01-31 1958 USA launches Explorer I, its first satellite. Discovers Van Allen radiation belts circling Earth.

09__ 1959 USSR's Luna 2 made hard lunar landing.

11__ 1959 USSR's Luna 3 took pictures of dark side of Moon.

04-08 1961 Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is first man to orbit Earth.

02__ 1962 American astronaut John Glenn orbits Earth.

__1962 USA's Mariner 2 passes within 21,500 mi. of Venus.

1963 Laser invented.

03__1965 Soviet cosmonaut ___ becomes first man to "walk" in space.

02__1966 USSR's Luna 9 made first softlanding on Moon.

06__1966 USA's Surveyor 1 made soft lunar landing.

___1967 USA's Mariner 4 takes first closeup photos of Mars.

___1967 USA's Mariner 5 passes within 6,000 mi. of Venus.

07 20 1969 American astronaut Neil A. Armstrong first man to walk on Moon. Accompanied by Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.

__ USA launches Skylab.

113074 American Donald Johanson discovers nearly complete skeleton of a hominid he calls Lucy.


Last Updated: Saturday, August 03, 1996