Select Page

Science timeline

Reading Time: ( Word Count: )

Science timeline

3rd century BCE

• 323–283 BCE – Euclid: wrote a series of 13 books on geometry called The Elements
• 280 BCE – Aristarchus of Samos: used a heliocentric, heliostatic model

2nd century BCE

• 150s BCE – Seleucus of Seleucia: discovery of tides being caused by the moon
• 150s Ptolemy: produced the geocentric model of the solar system.

9th century

• Al-Kindi (Alkindus): refutation of the theory of the transmutation of metals
• 780-850 Al-Khawarizmi: wrote the first major treatise on Algebra titled “Al-jabr wal-muqabaleh”

10th century

• Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi (Rhazes): refutation of Aristotelian classical elements and Galenic humorism; and discovery of measles and smallpox, and kerosene and distilled petroleum
• 984 – Ibn Sahl accurately describes the optics which became known as Snell’s law of refraction

11th century

• 1021 – Ibn al-Haytham’s Book of Optics. First use of controlled experiments and reproducibility of its results.
• 1020s – Avicenna’s The Canon of Medicine
• 1054 – Various early astronomers observe supernova (modern designation SN 1054), later correlated to the Crab Nebula.
• Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī: beginning of Islamic astronomy and mechanics
• Shen Kuo: Discovers the concepts of true north and magnetic declination. In addition, he develops the first theory of Geomorphology.

12th century

• 1121 – Al-Khazini: variation of gravitation and gravitational potential energy at a distance; the decrease of air density with altitude
• Ibn Bajjah (Avempace): discovery of reaction (precursor to Newton’s third law of motion)
• Hibat Allah Abu’l-Barakat al-Baghdaadi (Nathanel): relationship between force and acceleration (a vague foreshadowing of a fundamental law of classical mechanics and a precursor to Newton’s second law of motion)
• Averroes: relationship between force, work and kinetic energy

13th century

• 1220–1235 – Robert Grosseteste: rudimentals of the scientific method (see also: Roger Bacon)
• 1242 – Ibn al-Nafis: pulmonary circulation and circulatory system
• Theodoric of Freiberg: correct explanation of rainbow phenomenon
• William of Saint-Cloud: pioneering use of camera obscura to view solar eclipses[2]

14th century

• Before 1327 – William of Ockham: Occam’s Razor
• Oxford Calculators: the mean speed theorem
• Jean Buridan: theory of impetus
• Nicole Oresme: discovery of the curvature of light through atmospheric refraction[3]

15th century

• 1494 – Luca Pacioli: first codification of the Double-entry bookkeeping system, which slowly developed in previous centuries[4]

16th century

• 1543 – Nicolaus Copernicus: heliocentric model
• 1543 – Vesalius: pioneering research into human anatomy
• 1552 – Michael Servetus: early research in Europe into pulmonary circulation
• 1570s – Tycho Brahe: detailed astronomical observations
• 1600 – William Gilbert: Earth’s magnetic field

17th century

• 1609 – Johannes Kepler: first two laws of planetary motion
• 1610 – Galileo Galilei: Sidereus Nuncius: telescopic observations
• 1614 – John Napier: use of logarithms for calculation[5]
• 1619 – Johannes Kepler: third law of planetary motion
• 1628 – William Harvey: Blood circulation
• 1638 – Galileo Galilei: laws of falling body
• 1643 – Evangelista Torricelli invents the mercury barometer
• 1662 – Robert Boyle: Boyle’s law of ideal gas
• 1665 – Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society first peer reviewed scientific journal published.
• 1665 – Robert Hooke: Discovers the Cell
• 1668 – Francesco Redi: disproved idea of spontaneous generation
• 1669 – Nicholas Steno: Proposes that fossils are organic remains embedded in layers of sediment, basis of stratigraphy
• 1669 – Jan Swammerdam: Species breed true
• 1672 – Sir Isaac Newton: discovers that white light is a spectrum of a mixture of distinct coloured rays
• 1673 – Christiaan Huygens: first study of oscillating system and design of pendulum clocks
• 1675 – Leibniz, Newton: Infinitesimal calculus
• 1675 – Anton van Leeuwenhoek: Observes Microorganisms by Microscope
• 1676 – Ole Rømer: first measurement of the speed of light
• 1687 – Sir Isaac Newton: Classical Mathematical description of the fundamental force of universal gravitation and the three physical laws of motion

18th century

• 1745 – Ewald Jürgen Georg von Kleist first capacitor, the Leyden jar
• 1750 – Joseph Black: describes latent heat
• 1751 – Benjamin Franklin: Lightning is electrical
• 1761 – Mikhail Lomonosov: discovery of the atmosphere of Venus
• 1763 – Thomas Bayes: publishes the first version of Bayes’ theorem, paving the way for Bayesian probability
• 1771 – Charles Messier: Publishes catalogue of astronomical objects (Messier Objects) now known to include galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae.
• 1778 – Antoine Lavoisier (and Joseph Priestley): discovery of oxygen leading to end of Phlogiston theory
• 1781 – William Herschel announces discovery of Uranus, expanding the known boundaries of the solar system for the first time in modern history
• 1785 – William Withering: publishes the first definitive account of the use of foxglove (digitalis) for treating dropsy
• 1787 – Jacques Charles: Charles’ law of ideal gas
• 1789 – Antoine Lavoisier: law of conservation of mass, basis for chemistry, and the beginning of modern chemistry
• 1796 – Georges Cuvier: Establishes extinction as a fact
• 1796 – Edward Jenner: small pox historical accounting
• 1796 – Hanaoka Seishū: develops general anaesthesia
• 1800 – Alessandro Volta: discovers electrochemical series and invents the battery
• 1800 – William Herschel discovers infrared radiation.

19th century

• 1802 – Jean-Baptiste Lamarck: teleological evolution
• 1805 – John Dalton: Atomic Theory in (Chemistry)
• 1820 – Hans Christian Ørsted discovers that a current passed through a wire will deflect the needle of a compass, establishing a deep relationship between electricity and magnetism (electromagnetism).
• 1824 – Carnot: described the Carnot cycle, the idealized heat engine
• 1827 – Georg Ohm: Ohm’s law (Electricity)
• 1827 – Amedeo Avogadro: Avogadro’s law (Gas law)
• 1828 – Friedrich Wöhler synthesized urea, destroying vitalism
• 1830 – Nikolai Lobachevsky created Non-Euclidean geometry
• 1831 – Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction
• 1833 – Michael Faraday is the first to observe a property of semiconductors.
• 1833 – Anselme Payen isolates first enzyme, diastase
• 1838 – Matthias Schleiden: all plants are made of cells
• 1838 – Friedrich Bessel: first successful measure of stellar parallax (to star 61 Cygni)
• 1842 – Christian Doppler: Doppler effect
• 1843 – James Prescott Joule: Law of Conservation of energy (First law of thermodynamics), also 1847 – Helmholtz, Conservation of energy
• 1846 – Johann Gottfried Galle and Heinrich Louis d’Arrest: discovery of Neptune
• 1848 – Lord Kelvin: absolute zero
• 1858 – Rudolf Virchow: cells can only arise from pre-existing cells
• 1859 – Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace: Theory of evolution by natural selection
• 1861 – Louis Pasteur: Germ theory
• 1864 – James Clerk Maxwell: Theory of electromagnetism
• 1865 – Gregor Mendel: Mendel’s laws of inheritance, basis for genetics
• 1865 – Rudolf Clausius: Definition of Entropy
• 1869 – Dmitri Mendeleev: Periodic table
• 1871 – Lord Rayleigh: Diffuse sky radiation (Rayleigh scattering) explains why sky appears blue
• 1873 – Frederick Guthrie discovers thermionic emission.
• 1875 – William Crookes invented the Crookes tube and studied cathode rays
• 1876 – Josiah Willard Gibbs founded chemical thermodynamics, the phase rule
• 1877 – Ludwig Boltzmann: Statistical definition of entropy
• 1880 – Pierre Curie and Jacques Curie: Piezoelectricity
• 1887 – Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley: lack of evidence for the aether
• 1888 – Friedrich Reinitzer discovers liquid crystals.
• 1895 – Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovers x-rays
• 1896 – Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity
• 1897 – J.J. Thomson discovers the electron in cathode rays
• 1898 – J.J. Thomson proposed the Plum pudding model of an atom
• 1898 – Marie Curie discovers polonium, radium, and coins the term “radioactivity”
• 1900 – Max Planck: Planck’s law of black body radiation, basis for quantum theory

20th century

• 1905 – Albert Einstein: theory of special relativity, explanation of Brownian motion, and photoelectric effect
• 1906 – Walther Nernst: Third law of thermodynamics
• 1907 – Alfred Bertheim: Arsphenamine, the first modern chemotherapeutic agent
• 1909 – Fritz Haber: Haber Process for industrial production of ammonia
• 1909 – Robert Andrews Millikan: conducts the oil drop experiment and determines the charge on an electron
• 1911 – Ernest Rutherford: Atomic nucleus
• 1911 – Heike Kamerlingh Onnes: Superconductivity
• 1912 – Alfred Wegener: Continental drift
• 1912 – Max von Laue: x-ray diffraction
• 1913 – Henry Moseley: defined atomic number
• 1913 – Niels Bohr: Model of the atom
• 1915 – Albert Einstein: theory of general relativity – also David Hilbert
• 1915 – Karl Schwarzschild: discovery of the Schwarzschild radius leading to the identification of black holes
• 1918 – Emmy Noether: Noether’s theorem – conditions under which the conservation laws are valid
• 1920 – Arthur Eddington: Stellar nucleosynthesis
• 1922 – Frederick Banting, Charles Best, James Collip, John Macleod: isolation and production of insulin to control diabetes
• 1924 – Wolfgang Pauli: quantum Pauli exclusion principle
• 1924 – Edwin Hubble: the discovery that the Milky Way is just one of many galaxies
• 1925 – Erwin Schrödinger: Schrödinger equation (Quantum mechanics)
• 1925 – Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: Discovery of the composition of the Sun and that Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe
• 1927 – Werner Heisenberg: Uncertainty principle (Quantum mechanics)
• 1927 – Georges Lemaître: Theory of the Big Bang
• 1928 – Paul Dirac: Dirac equation (Quantum mechanics)
• 1929 – Edwin Hubble: Hubble’s law of the expanding universe
• 1928 – Alexander Fleming: Penicillin, the first beta-lactam antibiotic
• 1929 – Lars Onsager’s reciprocal relations, a potential fourth law of thermodynamics
• 1932 – James Chadwick: Discovery of the neutron
• 1934 – Clive McCay: Calorie restriction extends the maximum lifespan of another species
• 1938 – Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner and Fritz Strassmann: Nuclear fission
• 1938 – Isidor Rabi: Nuclear magnetic resonance
• 1943 – Oswald Avery proves that DNA is the genetic material of the chromosome
• 1947 – William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain invent the first transistor
• 1948 – Claude Elwood Shannon: ‘A mathematical theory of communication’ a seminal paper in Information theory.
• 1948 – Richard Feynman, Julian Schwinger, Sin-Itiro Tomonaga and Freeman Dyson: Quantum electrodynamics
• 1951 – George Otto Gey propagates first cancer cell line, HeLa
• 1952 – Jonas Salk: developed and tested first polio vaccine
• 1953 – Crick and Watson: helical structure of DNA, basis for molecular biology
• 1963 – Lawrence Morley, Fred Vine, and Drummond Matthews: Paleomagnetic stripes in ocean crust as evidence of plate tectonics (Vine-Matthews-Morley hypothesis).
• 1964 – Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig: postulates quarks leading to the standard model
• 1964 – Arno Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson: detection of CMBR providing experimental evidence for the Big Bang
• 1965 – Leonard Hayflick: normal cells divide only a certain number of times: the Hayflick limit
• 1967 – Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish discover first pulsar
• 1983 – Kary Mullis invents the polymerase chain reaction, a key discovery in molecular biology.
• 1986 – Karl Müller and Johannes Bednorz: Discovery of High-temperature superconductivity
• 1994 – Andrew Wiles proves Fermat’s Last Theorem
• 1995 – Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz definitively observe the first extrasolar planet around a main sequence star
• 1995 – Eric Cornell, Carl Wieman and Wolfgang Ketterle attained the first Bose-Einstein Condensate with atomic gases, so called fifth state of matter at an extremely low temperature.
• 1997 – Roslin Institute: Dolly the sheep was cloned.
• 1997 – CDF and DØ experiments at Fermilab: Top quark.
• 1998 – Supernova Cosmology Project and the High-Z Supernova Search Team: discovery of the accelerated expansion of the Universe / Dark Energy.
• 2000 – The Tau neutrino is discovered by the DONUT collaboration

21st century

• 2001 – The first draft of the Human Genome Project is published.
• 2003 – Grigori Perelman presents proof of the Poincaré Conjecture.
• 2006 – Shinya Yamanaka generates first induced pluripotent stem cells
• 2010 – J. Craig Venter Institute creates the first synthetic genome for a bacterial cell.[6]
• 2010 – The Neanderthal Genome Project presented preliminary genetic evidence that interbreeding did likely take place and that a small but significant portion of Neanderthal admixture is present in modern non-African populations.[citation needed] • 2012 – Higgs boson is discovered at CERN (confirmed to 99.999% certainty)
• 2012 – Photonic molecules are discovered at MIT
• 2014 – Exotic hadrons are discovered at the LHCb
• 2015 – Kepler 438b discovered to have similar Earth-like properties[7] • 2015 – Traces of liquid water discovered on Mars

Print Friendly, PDF & Email