A brief overview of the major milestones in science and engineering.
|30000BC||Palaeolithic peoples in central Europe and France record numbers on bones.|
|25000BC||Early geometric designs used.|
|9000BC||Sheep are domesticated in the Middle East.|
|7400BC||Corn is domesticated in the Oaxaca Valley.|
|7000BC||Wheat is domesticated in Mesopotamia.|
|6500BC||Cattle are domesticated in Mesopotamia.|
|6000BC||Copper artifacts are common in the Middle East.|
|5000BC||Barley is domesticated in Egypt.|
|4400BC||Potatoes are domesticated in Peru and Bolivia.|
|4000BC||Light wooden plows are used in Mesopotamia.|
|3500BC||Kiln-fired bricks and pots are made in Mesopotamia.|
Irrigation is developed in Mesopotamia.
|3400BC||The first symbols for numbers, simple straight lines, are used in Egypt.|
|3200BC||Wheeled vehicles are used in Uruk.|
|3000BC||Square-sailed ships used in Egypt.|
Draft oxen are used in Mesopotamia.
Potter's wheel used in Mesopotamia.
Evidence of soldering being used in Iraq.
|2800BC||Pyramids are built in Egypt.|
|2600BC||Egyptians invent use of glassware.|
|2500BC||Bronze is developed in Mesopotamia.|
|2296BC||A comet is observed for the first time.|
|2136BC||Solar eclipse recorded by Chinese.|
|2000BC||Horse drawn vehicles are used in Egypt.|
|1750BC||Tin is discovered.|
|1700BC||Horse riding is developed on the Eurasia steppes.|
|1600BC||Zodiac established by Chaldean astronomers.|
|1500BC||Copper is smelted in China. Rice paddies are developed in China.|
|1400BC||Iron working is developed in the Middle East.|
|1360BC||A decimal number system with no zero starts to be used in China.|
|1300BC||Horse drawn vehicles are developed in China.|
Fine wire made by the Egyptians by beating gold sheet and cutting it into strips.
|1000BC||Chinese use counting boards for calculation.|
|900BC||Chinese use natural gas from wells.|
|800BC||Mounted archers are developed on the Eurasian steppes.|
Sunspot recorded for the first time by Chinese.
Greek texts mention the Magnetic properties of the naturally occurring lodestone were first time.
|635BC||Chinese note that the tails of comets point away from the Sun.|
|600BC||Archimedean screw used for irrigation in Egypt.|
Thales asserted that matter exists in three forms namely mist, water and earth.
Thales noted that iron was attracted to lodestone.
|585BC||Thales correctly predicted solar eclipse.|
|550BC||Pythagoras' theorem proposed by Pythagoras.|
|530BC||Anaximenes suggested that air is the primary substance.|
|512BC||Chinese make cast iron using blast furnaces.|
|500BC||Anaximenes introduced the ideas of condensation and rarefaction.|
|480BC||Angle of Earth's tilt to ecliptic is calculated by Oenopides.|
|470BC||Anaxagoras suggests that the Sun, Moon and stars are composed from the same matter as Earth|
|450BC||Anaxagoras proposes that the Moon shines with the light of the Sun and from this was able to explain the eclipses.|
Archytas of Tarentum invents the screw.
|440BC||The concept of the atom as an indivisible unit of matter is introduced by Leucippus of Miletus.|
|400BC||Cross bow is developed in China.|
|387BC||Plato founds his Academy in Athens.|
|370BC||Leucippus and Democritus proposed that matter is made of small, indestructible particles.|
|330BC||Pytheas proposed that tides are caused by the Moon.|
|300BC||Euclidean geometry proposed by Euclid.|
Aristarchus proposed that the earth revolves around the sun; calculated diameter of the earth.
The number of volumes in the Library of Alexandria reached 500,000.
Stirrups are used in China.
|270BC||Chinese describe the five elements as water, metal, wood, fire and earth.|
Water clock built by Ctesibius.
|250BC||Principle of buoyancy and levers developed by Archimedes.|
|240BC||Hydrostatics formulated by Archimedes.|
|230BC||Eratosthenes of Cyrene develops his sieve method for finding all prime numbers.|
Nicomedes writes his treatise On conchoid lines which contain his discovery of the curve known as the "Conchoid of Nicomedes".
|225BC||Apollonius of Perga writes Conics in which he introduces the terms "parabola", "ellipse" and "hyperbola".|
|220BC||Archimedes made discoveries in mathematics and mechanics.|
An accurate measurement of the circumference of the Earth is made by Eratosthenes.
|200BC||Romans first use concrete.|
|196BC||Rosetta stone was created.|
|190BC||Chinese mathematicians use powers of 10 to express magnitudes.|
|150BC||Hypsicles writes On the Ascension of Stars. In this work he is the first to divide the Zodiac into 360 degrees. Iron moldboard plows in use in China.|
|127BC||Hipparchus discovers the precession of the equinoxes and calculates the length of the year to within 6.5 minutes of the correct value. His astronomical work uses an early form of trigonometry.|
|100BC||Chinese mathematicians are the first to introduce negative numbers. Waterwheels used in Greece and Rome. Beginnings of collar harness in China.|
|50BC||Steam engine invented by Heron of Alexandria.|
|1||Chinese mathematician Liu Hsin uses decimal fractions.|
|20||Geminus writes a number of astronomy texts and The Theory of Mathematics. He tries to prove the parallel postulate.|
|50||Chinese mathematician Sun-tzi presents the first known example of an indeterminate equation.|
|60||Heron of Alexandria writes Metrica (Measurements). It contains formulas for calculating areas and volumes.|
|90||The Chinese invent magic squares. Nicomachus of Gerasa writes Arithmetike eisagoge (Introduction to Arithmetic) which is the first work to treat arithmetic as a separate topic from geometry.|
|100||The classical Chinese mathematics text Jiuzhang Suanshu (Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art) begins to be assembled.|
|105||First paper made by Ts'ai Lun.|
|110||Menelaus of Alexandria writes Sphaerica which deals with spherical triangles and their application to astronomy.|
|122||Construction of Hadrian′s Wall begins.|
|132||First seismograph invented by Zhang Heng.|
|150||Ptolemy produces many important geometrical results with applications in astronomy. His version of astronomy will be the accepted one for well over one thousand years.|
|180||First alchemy writings appeared in Egypt.|
|190||Chinese mathematicians calculated pi to five decimal places.|
|250||The Maya civilization of Central America uses an almost place-value number system to base 20. Diophantus of Alexandria writes Arithmetica, a study of number theory problems in which only rational numbers are allowed as solutions.|
|263||By using a regular polygon with 192 sides Liu Hui calculates the value of pi as 3.14159 which is correct to five decimal places.|
|271||Chinese mathematicians invented the magnetic compass.|
|340||Pappus of Alexandria writes Synagoge (Collections) which is a guide to Greek geometry.|
|390||Theon of Alexandria produces a version of Euclid's Elements (with textual changes and some additions) on which almost all subsequent editions are based.|
|400||Hypatia writes commentaries on Diophantus and Apollonius. She is the first recorded female mathematician and she distinguishes herself with remarkable scholarship. She becomes head of the Neo-Platonist school at Alexandria.|
Term Chemistry used by scholars of Alexandria to describe changing matter.
|415||A mob of rioters burned down the Library of Alexandria, and much of the recorded knowledge of the western world was lost.|
|594||Decimal notation is used for numbers in India. This is the system on which our current notation is based|
|600||Windmills used in Iran.|
|628||Brahmagupta writes Brahmasphutasiddanta (The Opening of the Universe), a work on astronomy; on mathematics. He uses zero and negative numbers, gives methods to solve quadratic equations, sum series, and compute square roots.|
|790||Chinese begin to use finite difference methods.|
|810||Al-Khwarizmi writes important works on arithmetic, algebra, geography, and astronomy. In particular Hisab al-jabr w'al-muqabala (Calculation by Completion and Balancing), gives us the word "algebra", from "al-jabr". From al-Khwarizmi's name, as a consequence of his arithmetic book, comes the word "algorithm".|
|834||The rotary grindstone is described for the first time.|
|850||Triangular sails used in the Mediterranean.|
|880||Arabian chemists make alcohol by distilling wine.|
|1040||Gunpowder in China.|
|1066||A large comet is sighted. In Britain it is thought to be connected to the invasion of William the Conqueror from France. It will revisit Earth in 1985/6 - we know it today as Halley's comet.|
|1086||The domesday Book was written. Shen Kua, a Chinese scientist, writes his Dream Pool Essays, in these he outlines the principles of erosion, sedimentation and uplift which are still used in earth science today. He also makes the first known reference to the use of a magnetic compass for navigation.|
|1126||First artesian well dug in Artois.|
|1180||Use of a glass mirror is recorded.|
|1199||Alexander Neckam from St Albans writes De naturis rerum ("On natural things") and makes the first known Western reference to the magnetic compass.|
|1232||Rockets invented in China to defend city of Kaifeng against Mongol invaders.|
|1250||The magnifying glass was invented by Roger Bacon|
|1269||Maricourt used compass to discover that a magnet is encircled by lines which terminate on two poles.|
|1270||In 1270 Witelo publishes his Perspectiva, a book on optics which deals with refraction, reflection and geometrical optics. Perhaps most importantly, Witelo rejects the current idea that rays of light are emitted from the eye.|
|1284||Al-Quarashi (also known as Ibn al-Nafis) works out the correct anatomy of the heart and the way in which the blood flows through it.|
|1285||Spectacles are invented in Italy.|
|1348||The plague appeared in Europe.|
|1390||The first paper mill began operating in Germany.|
|1414||Influenza ('flu) is recorded as a disease for the first time in Paris.|
|1455||The Gutenberg Bible became the first book printed with movable metal type.|
|1500||Chinese scientist Wan Hu ties 47 gunpowder Rockets to a chair in an effort to make a flying machine, but it explodes and kills him!|
|1504||Christopher Columbus correctly predicts the total eclipse of the moon.|
|1508||Leonardo da Vinci started to compile notebooks on mechanics, astronomy, anatomy, and his inventions.|
|1515||Leonardo da Vinci described the camera obscura.|
|1517||Girolamo Francastoro explains fossils as the remains of actual organisms - he decides that there are too many to be simply the result of Noah's flood.|
|1520||The Swiss doctor and alchemist Philippus Aureolus Paracheus introduces laudanum (made from opium) as a pain killer.|
|1540||The book Astronomicon Caesareum by Peter Apian notes that the tails of comets point away from the Sun, a fact known by the Chinese since 635 AD.|
|1543||Heliocentric universe restated by Nicolaus Copernicus.|
Vasalius published treatise on human anatomy
|1545||A book on surgery by the French author Ambroise Paré suggests treating wounds with soothing ointments instead of boiling oil.|
|1546||Girolamo Fracastoro puts forward the idea that diseases are like seeds that can be transferred from one person to another.|
|1552||The Italian anatomist Bartolemeo Eustachio discovers the adrenal glands, the detailed structure of the teeth and the Eustachian tubes which were named after him, although his work is not published until 1711.|
|1557||= sign used by Robert Record.|
The first mention of the metal platinum in any written text.
|1560||An Italian physicist forms the first scientific society. This is suppressed by the Inquisition.|
|1565||The first known drawings of fossils are published. Konrad von Gesner, the artist who did them, thinks they are tools that look like bones or shells.|
|1570||Brahe discovered supernova in constellation Cassiopeia.|
The pinhole camera is invented around this time.
|1579||The first glass eyes are made.|
|1581||Galileo uses his pulse to time the swinging of the lamps in the cathedral at Pisa. He concludes that the time for a lamp to swing does not depend on the angle through which it swings. This observation eventually leads to the development of pendulum clocks.|
|1585||Decimal fraction/point introduced by Simon Stevin.|
|1591||Thomas Harriot, an English mathematician, first notes snowflakes are six pointed or six sided although he does not publish this observation. The hexagonal character of snowflakes has been known in China from at least the 2nd century BC.|
|1592||Galileo develops a type of thermometer based on air.|
|1597||Andreas Libavius publishes Alchemia. This chemistry textbook describes how to make hydrochloric acid and ammonium sulphate and other chemicals.|
|1599||The first serious textbook of zoology is published by Ulisse Aldrovandi.|
|1600||William Gilbert discovered that electricity occurs in things other than amber; wrote a book on magnetism. Gilbert also discovered that the earth is one giant magnet.|
|1602||Vincenzio Casarido discovers barium sulphide.|
|1604||Johannes Kepler describes how the eye focuses light and also shows that the brightness (intensity) of light decreases as distance squared from its source.|
|1607||Thermometer invented by Galileo.|
|1608||Refracting telescope invented by Hans Lippershey.|
|1609||Kepler announced his 1st and 2nd laws.|
Galileo hears of Lippershey's telescope and builds his own version. He eventually achieves a magnification of about 30x.
|1610||Jupiter's satellites discovered by Galileo.|
|1611||Galileo, Thomas Harriot, Johannes Fabricius and Christoph Scheiner all claim to have seen sunspots on the surface of the Sun. Galileo says he first saw them three years earlier but did not publish anything, thinking that they were the planet Mercury passing in front of the Sun.|
|1614||Logarithms proposed by John Napier.|
The first recorded measurements of changes in weight, pulse and temperature are made by Sanctorius Sanctorius, taken from his own body using a very primitive thermometer.
|1616||Galileo called to Rome and ordered to stop supporting the Copernican theory.|
|1619||Kepler announced his 3rd law.|
|1620||Submarine invented by Cornelius Drebbel.|
Bacon published "Novum Organum" (scientific method and inductive reasoning).
|1621||Snell discovered the law of refraction.|
|1622||William Oughtred invents the slide rule.|
|1623||William Schickardt builds the first calculating machine from wood.|
|1628||Harvey published a book describing blood circulation.|
|1633||The Inquisition denounced Galileo|
|1637||Cartesian coordinates introduced by Rene Descartes. Descartes Published "Geometry". René Descartes describes his theory of the refraction of light, and also publishes an explanation for rainbows and cloud formation.|
|1638||Galileo published "Discourses Concerning Two New Sciences", summarizing the principles of mechanics in which he discusses the laws of motion and friction, updating and correcting the ideas of Aristotle. Although Aristotle's ideas date from the 4th century BC, they had survived unchallenged until this time.|
|1641||Galileo's son designs a pendulum clock using his father's ideas.|
|1642||Principles of hydraulics proposed by Blaise Pascal. Pascal invented the mechanical adding machine.|
|1643||Torricelli makes the first barometer using mercury in a sealed glass column - he also creates the first vacuum known to science when he inverts the tube of mercury over a dish of mercury and the level drops.|
|1650||Archbishop Usher estimated by reading the Bible that the earth was created on October 23, 4004 BC at 9:00am.|
|1651||The life of plants - their anatomy, their reproduction and their classification - becomes much more clearly understood through the work of John Ray and others.|
|1652||Pascal discovered laws of fluid pressure.|
|1654||Guericke invented the vacuum pump.|
|1656||Edmund Halley discovers the periodicity of the comets and the motion of the stars, whilst Giovanni Domenico Cassini studies the solar system ands discovers a great deal about planets and their moons.|
Pendulum clock invented by Christiaan Huygens.
The Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens discovers the rings of Saturn.
|1660||Redi disproved theory of spontaneous generation with experiment on flies.|
|1666||Newton invented the calculus. Newton discovered glass prism separates white light into spectrum.|
|1667||Hennig Brand accidentally discovers the element phosphorus during an experiment with urine, but he keeps it secret and Robert Boyle later discovers and describes the element.|
|1668||Reflecting telescope invented by Isaac Newton|
|1675||Leibniz independently invented the calculus.|
|1678||Polarization of light discovered by Christiaan Huygens.|
|1687||Laws of gravity proposed by Isaac Newton. Newton published "Principia", describing the laws of motion.|
|1690||Locke published "Essay Concerning Human Understanding" (empiricism, tabula rasa).|
|1691||John Ray suggests that fossils are the remains of animals from the distant past.|
|1693||John Ray publishes the first important classification of animals and correctly puts whales in with the other mammals.|
|1694||The German scientist Rudolph Camerarius shows the difference between the male and the female reproductive organs in plants.|
|1697||Anton van Leeuwenhoek explains his discovery of what he calls "animalculae" using his microscope.|
|1701||Giacomo Pylanni inoculates three children with smallpox in Constantinople in the hope of preventing more serious smallpox when they are older, thus becoming the first immunologist.|
Seed drill invented by Jethro Tull.
|1704||Newton published "Opticks".|
|1705||Edmund Halley predicts the return in 1758 of a comet which had last appeared in 1682. The comet becomes known as Halley's Comet.|
Thomas Newcomen invents a steam engine which uses both atmospheric pressure and low-pressure steam to pump water out of mines.
|1709||Gabriel David Fahrenheit constructs an alcohol thermometer.|
Abraham Darby introduces the use of coke for iron smelting at Coalbrookdale, England.
|1712||Thomas Newcomen patents his atmospheric engine.|
|1714||Fahrenheit builds a mercury thermometer, using a scale which is later named after him.|
The British Parliament offers a prize of £2000 for a solution to the problem of calculating longitude. The French government will offer a similar prize in 1716.
The first patent for a typewriter was filed by Henry Milne.
|1715||Taylor power series published by Brook Taylor.|
|1726||John Harrison constructs a gridiron compensating pendulum clock.|
|1728||Euler's number e = 2.17828 introduced by Leonhard Euler.|
A debate about the nature of combustion rages among scientists. Many scientists believe that substances that burn contain "phlogiston", a substance that is released during burning. It is later shown that metals gain weight when they burn in air, which seems to suggest that the phlogiston theory is untrue. Supporters of the theory get around this by putting forward the idea that phlogiston has negative weight - so when a substances gives off phlogiston it gains weight!
|1730||Sextent invented. n solutions to nth root given by Abraham de Moivre|
|1733||Charles François de Cisternay Du Fay discovers 2 types of static electricity, and that like charges repel each other whilst unlike charges attract. Force law of equal and opposite electric charges found by Dufay.|
|1734||f(x) function symbol introduced by Leonhard Euler|
|1735||Cobalt discovered by G. Brandt in Stockholm, Sweden.|
|1736||The first distinction is made between sodium and potassium salts.|
|1737||John Harrison produces a naval chronometer, allowing determination of exact longitudes at sea.|
|1738||Daniel Bernoulli produces a theory explaining the relationship between the pressure of a fluid and its velocity.|
|1741||An animal called Steller's sea cow is discovered living off the coast of Soviet Union. Only 27 years later it has been hunted to extinction.|
|1742||Anders Celcius invents the Celcius temperature scale. In its original form the scale has 0 degrees for the boiling point of water and 100 degrees for its freezing point.|
|1743||The Celcius scale is changed by Jean Pierre Christin so that 0 degrees is the freezing point of water and 100 degrees is its boiling point.|
|1744||Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosor publishes a paper which contains the first description of heat as a form of motion.|
|1746||Theory of complex numbers discovered by Jean d'Alembert.|
|1747||The American scientist Benjamin Franklin carries out much work on electricity, although he will not carry out his famous kite experiment for another five years.|
The French writer Voltaire is influential in spreading Newton's ideas about gravitation and the movement of celestial bodies. In continental Europe at this time most people still accept the ideas put forward by Descartes. Voltaire lived with Madame du Chatelet who begins translating Newton's Principia during this year, until she dies in childbirth.
|1748||Transformation from Cartesian to polar coordinates given by Euler.|
|1749||The Chinese method of refrigeration is explained by Jean-Jacques d' Ortous de Mairan, who realises that it is based on the cooling effect of evaporation - the principle of the modern refrigerator.|
Comte de Buffon produces a definition of a species - "a group of organisms capable of breeding and producing fertile offspring". This definition will remain the accepted definition in the 21st century.
|1751||Nickel discovered by A.F. Cronstedt in Stockholm, Sweden.|
|1755||Magnesium recognised by Joseph Black in Edinburgh, Scotland.|
|1756||Joseph Black's experiments on magnesia, quicklime and other alkaline substances is the first quantitative chemical research.|
|1758||Linnaeus developed taxonomy of species, proposed binomial nomenclature.|
Halley's comet appears on 25th December, exactly in accordance with predictions.
|1759||Kaspar Wolff describes how different tissues develop in an embryo, challenging the idea that sperm contain a complete miniature creature which simply grows in the mother.|
John Harrison completes "No. 4", the marine chronometer that will eventually win the longitude prize.
|1761||Joseph Black discovers latent heat by finding that when ice melts it absorbs energy but does not change temperature.|
|1764||Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny.|
|1766||Hydrogen discovered by Henry Cavendish.|
|1767||John Michell suggests the existence of physical binary stars.|
|1768||Leonhard Euler suggests that the wavelength of light determines its colour|
|1769||Watt invented the modern steam engine.|
Cugnot's carriage is the first large steam tractor. It was slow, clumsy and difficult to control.
|1770||Development of hyperbolic trigonometry.|
|1771||Charles Messier publishes a list of nebulae.|
|1772||The French scientists Antoine Lavoisier begins his experiments on combustion, burning diamond and showing that when sulphur or phosphorus burn the gain in weight is due to combination with atmospheric air.|
English scientist Joseph Priestley shows that growing plants can restore air that has been made 'lifeless' by animals breathing it or fire burning in it.
Nitrogen discovered by Daniel Rutherford.
|1773||Captain Cook's ship Resolution crosses the Antarctic circle.|
|1774||Priestley publishes his work on oxygen.|
Sir Percival Potts links soot with the scrotal and nasal cancers which chimney sweeps get - the first link between environment and cancer.
James Watt moves to Birmingham and enters a partnership with Matthew Boulton, designing and manufacturing steam engines for customers.
Manganese discovered by J.G. Grahn in Stockholm, Sweden.
|1775||Priestley discovered hydrochloric and sulphuric acid.|
|1776||Lavoisier invented oxygen cutting of metals.|
|1777||Imaginary number i introduced by Leonhard Euler.|
Lavoisier proposed idea of chemical compounds made of elements.
In Germany Carl Wenzel works on reaction rates and shows that the rate at which a metal dissolves in an acid is proportional to the concentration of the acid.
|1778||Lavoisier proposed that air is made of two different gases.|
Alessandro Volta discovered methane gas in marshes.
|1779||The World's first iron bridge is constructed across the River Severn at Ironbridge, England.|
Lazzaro Spallanzani describes the role of semen in fertilisation, and shows that sperm have to make physical contact with the egg for fertilisation to take place.
Lavoisier shows that combustion and respiration involve combination with part of the atmosphere. At first he calls this part of the atmosphere "eminently respirable air". On Spetember 5 he proposes the name "oxigène" (from the Greek meaning "acid forming") based on his belief that all acids contain this gas.
|1780||Chromium is discovered by N.L. Vanquelin in Paris, France.|
|1781||Uranus discovered by William Herschel.|
|1782||Potential introduced by Pierre Simon Laplace.|
The 17 year-old English astronomer John Goodricke suggests that the star Algol has an invisible companion star which causes the variation in its brightness.
|1783||Michel and Montgolfier invented the hot air balloon; de Rozier becomes the first person to fly, altitude 1800m.|
First parachute used by Sebastien Lenormand when he jumped from the tower of Montpelier Observatory in France.
Tellurium discovered by Baron Franz Josef Mu¨ller von Reichenstein in Sibiu, Roumania.
Tungsten isolated by J.J. and F. Elhuyar in Vergara, Spain.
|1784||Theory on the Structure of the Crystals published by Rene-Just Hauy.|
|1785||Coulomb confirmed the inverse square law for electric force.|
Hutton proposed the idea of uniformitatianism in the geological history of the earth.
Cartwright invented the power loom for producing cloth.
James Watt's steam engine first used to power a cotton mill.
|1786||Caroline Herschel discovers a comet.|
|1787||Berthollet proposed system of chemical nomenclature.|
|1788||Variational mechanics given by Joseph Louis LaGrange.|
|1789||Uranium and Zirconium discovered by M.H. Klaproth in Berlin, Germany.|
|1790||Semaphore invented by Claude Chappe.|
|1791||Titanium discovered by Rev. William Gregor in Cornwall, England.|
Jeremias Richter noted that acids and bases neutralise in equal proportions.
|1792||Rousseau wrote "Social Contract".|
|1793||Whitney invented the cotton gin.|
|1794||First liquid battery built by Alessandro Volta.|
Antoine Lavoisier is executed in Paris on May 8. The judge presiding at his trial is reputed to have said "The Republic has no need of scientists."
Yttrium discovered by J. Gadolin in Abo, Finland.
|1795||Sailors in the British navy are given lime juice to prevent scurvy.|
|1796||Jenner discovered smallpox vaccination.|
|1797||Vauquelin discovers chromium.|
|1798||Pierre-Simon Laplace predicts the existence of black holes.|
|1799||Fundamental theorem of algebra proven by Karl Friedrich Gauss. Discovery of the Rosetta Stone.|
|1800||Ampere discovered properties of magnetic field produced by electric current.|
William Cruikshank was the first to use chlorine to purify water.
|1801||John Dalton publishes his law of partial pressures for gases.|
Infrared solar rays discovered by William Herschel.
Niobium discovered by C. Hatchett in London, England.
Vanadium discovered by A.M. del Rio, Mexico City.
|1802||Tantalum discovered by A.G. Ekeberg in Uppsala, Sweden.|
|1803||Atomic theory proposed by John Dalton. Dalton composed the law of definite proportions in chemistry.|
Richard Trevithick constructs the first steam locomotive.
Osmium and Iridium discovered by Smithson Tennant in London, England.
Rhodium and Palladium discovered by W.H. Woollaston in London, England.
|1804||Nicholas de Saussure shows that plants need carbon dioxide from the air and nitrogen from the soil. Up until now it has been assumed that they get carbon from the soil.|
The first canning factory is opened following the invention of the process by Nicholas Appert, a French sweet maker.
Rockets developed by the British Army Corp reached height of 1830m.
Bessel publishes a paper on the orbit of Halley's comet using data from Harriot's observations 200 years earlier.
|1805||Praseodymium discovered by Baron Auer von Welsbach in Vienna, Austria.|
|1806||Sodium discovered by Humphry Davy.|
The first amino acid - asparagine - is discovered.
Legendre develops the method of least squares to find best approximations to a set of observed data.
|1807||Chemicals are classified as either ORGANIC OR INORGANIC by the Swedish chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius.|
The Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian Oersted starts looking for a connection between electricity and magnesium.
Fulton invented the steamboat.
Potassium discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy in London.
|1808||Dalton published a periodic table based on atomic weights.|
The English chemist Humphry Davy discovers barium, strontium, calcium and isolates magnesium. He also discovers boron at the same time as the French chemists Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac and Louis-Jacques Thénard.
Etienne-Louis Malus discovers polarised light.
Ruthenium discovered by J.A. Sniadecki at the University of Vilno, Poland.
|1809||The French botanist and zoologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck states that animals evolved from simple worms. He suggests that evolution comes about as organisms acquire characteristics during their lifetime. These are then passed on to their offspring.|
|1810||The German doctor Samuel Hahnemann publishes his book Organon of Rational Healing, in which he explains the ideas behind a method of healing which he calls "homeopathy".|
|1811||Avogadro introduced the concept of the mole.|
|1812||Laplace publishes the two volumes of Théorie Analytique des probabilités (Analytical Theory of Probabilities). The first book studies generating functions and also approximations to various expressions occurring in probability theory. The second book contains Laplace's definition of probability, Bayes's rule, and mathematical expectation.|
|1813||Swiss-French botanist Augustin de Candolle introduces the word taxonomy.|
|1814||Stephenson invented the locomotive engine.|
The Times of London introduced the first steam-press.
|1815||Sir Humphry Davy invented the safety lamp.|
Peter Roget (the author of Roget's Thesaurus) invents the "log-log" slide rule.
|1816||Speed of sound in gases interpreted as adiabatic compression by Laplace.|
Humphry Davy discovers that platinum can act as a catalyst in certain types of chemical reaction.
|1817||Cadmium discovered by Friederich Strohmeyer.|
A pandemic of cholera begins in India and spreads to East Africa and most of Asia, including Japan and the Philippines.
Bessel discovers a class of integral functions, now called "Bessel functions", in his study of a problem of Kepler to determine the motion of three bodies moving under mutual gravitation.
Lithium discovered by J.A. Arfvedson in Stockholm, Sweden.
Selenium discovered by J.J. Berzelius in Stockholm, Sweden.
|1818||Louis-Jacques Thénard discovers hydrogen peroxide by accident.|
|1819||The English chemist John Kidd extracts naphthalene from coal tar. This is the first of many useful substances to be discovered in coal tar, a thick black liquid made when coal is heated to make coke and gas.|
|1820||Hans Oersted discovered that an electric current causes the deflection of compass needle.|
|1821||Electric motor invented by Michael Faraday.|
Thermoelectricity discovered by Thomas Seebeck.
Navier gives the well known "Navier-Stokes equations" for an incompressible fluid.
Lithium isolated by W.T. Brande.
|1822||Fourier series used to represent functions by Jean Baptiste Fourier.|
Dinosaur fossil first recognised by Mary Ann Mantell.
Champollion translated the Rosetta Stone.
|1823||Integral law between magnetic field and electric current published by Andre Marie Ampere.|
Limit concept introduced into calculus by A.L.Cauchy.
|1824||Fourier series used for general solution of heat conduction equation by Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier.|
Electromagnet invented by William Sturgeon.
The French physicist Nicholas Léonard Sadi Carnot publishes his book Réflexions sur la Puissance Motrice du Feu. This links work and heat, defines work and gets close to the second law of thermodynamics. It also proposes the idea of the internal combustion engine.
Silicon discovered by J.J. Berzelius in Stockholm, Sweden.
|1825||Discovery of Ampere's Force Law.|
Stockton and Darlington Railway is the World's first public transport system.
Michael Faraday isolates benzene by the fractional distillation of whale oil.
The German chemist Richard Erlenmeyer synthesises lots of organic compounds and also invents a way of representing single, double and triple bonds between atoms.
|1826||The German anatomist Karl Gegenbaur shows that all vertebrate cells arise from divisions of the egg and sperm.|
|1827||Ohm's law proposed by Georg Ohm.|
Phosphorus matches invented by John Walker. Brown discovered Brownian motion.
The German chemist Friedrich Wöhler develops a new method to prepare aluminium in pure form. Aluminium remains the most expensive metal on Earth. During the 19th century some aluminium jewellery is made.
|1828||Urea synthesised by Friedrich Wohler, the first organic compound to have been made in a laboratory and disproved the idea that organic compounds could only be made by living organisms under the influence of a "vital force".|
|1829||The term 'kinetic energy' is used for the first time.|
Johann Schönlein describes the genetic blood disease haemophilia.
Thorium discovered by J.J. Berzelius in Stockholm.
|1830||The first railroad, between Liverpool and Manchester, England.|
Poisson introduces "Poisson's ratio" in elasticity which involves stresses and strains on materials.
The first color sound cartoon, called Fiddlesticks, is made by Ub Iwerks.
|1831||Faraday (England) and Henry (U.S.) independently discovered that a current is produced in a wire when it is moved near a magnet.|
|1832||Group theory discovered by Evarista Galois.|
|1833||John Lane develops the steel plough.|
At a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, William Whewell uses the term 'scientist' for the first time.
|1834||Charles Babbage draws up the first plans for a digital computer.|
Second law of thermodynamics proposed by Benoit-Pierre Clapeyron.
|1835||Charles Darwin visits the Galapagos Islands.|
|1836||The German anatomist Heinrich Wilhelm Gottfried von Waldeyer-Hartz discovers that the nervous system is not a continuous system but that it is build up from separate cells that do not actually touch each other.|
The combine harvester is used for the first time in the USA
In Germany Theodor Schwann discovers the first known animal pepsin which acts on proteins in the stomach.
|1837||Braile invented by Louis Braille.|
|1838||John Ericsson develops the screw propeller.|
|1839||Integral law of electrostatics and magnetostatics given by Karl Friedrich Gauss.|
Fuel Cell invented by William Grove. Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber.
Lamé proves Fermat's Last Theorem for n = 7.
Lanthanum discovered by C.G. Mosander in Stockholm, Sweden.
|1840||The Italian physicist Giovanni Battista Amici invents the oil immersion microscope. He introduces a number of innovations which lead to microscopes which can enlarge up to 6,000 times. This makes the understanding of cells much easier.|
|1841||Heat effect of electric current found by James Prescott Joule.|
Carbon-zinc battery invented by Robert Bunsen.
Gauss publishes a treatise on optics in which he gives a formulae for calculating the position and size of the image formed by a lens with a given focal length.
|1842||The American surgeon Crawford Williamson Long claims to have performed the first operation using ether as an anaesthetic, while cutting out a tumour from a patient's neck. However, he does not announce his results until 1849.|
Erbium discovered by C.G. Mosander in Stockholm, Sweden.
|1843||The English astronomer John Couch Adams calculates the position of Neptune without ever seeing it. He does this using the irregularities in the orbit of Uranus, but remains uncertain about his calculations until he is supplied with new data by the Astronomer Royal, Sir George Biddell Airy. Airy does not take Adams's claims very seriously, and does not begin searching for Neptune until July 1846.|
Terbium discovered by C.G. Mosander in Stockholm and was named after the Swedish town of Ytterby.
|1844||Morse sent the first telegraph message.|
Liouville finds the first transcendental numbers - numbers that cannot be expressed as the roots of an algebraic equation with rational coefficients.
|1845||The German chemist Christian Schönbein discovers nitrocellulose (gun cotton) in an unorthodox way. He wipes up some spilled acid with his wife's cotton apron which explodes and vanishes as it dries!|
William McNaught invents the compound steam engine.
|1846||Urbain Jean Joseph Leverrier locates Neptune on September 23 1846 after making similar calculations to John Couch Adams. Leverrier receives great recognition for his discovery, while Adams is almost completely ignored. Despite this, the two men become great friends.|
|1847||The Hungarian doctor Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis shows that childbed fever is contagious. By introducing handwashing between patients on his wards he greatly reduced the number of deaths recorded, but few other doctors took any notice.|
|1848||Thomson (Lord Kelvin) proposes the absolute temperature scale now named after him.|
The American astronomer Maria Mitchell is the first woman elected to the American Academy of Science.
|1849||Fizeau measured the velocity of light.|
|1850||The second law of thermodynamics is stated for the first time by German physicist Rudolf Clausius.|
The German botanist Ferdinand Julius Cohn shows that the protoplasm in plant and animal cells is essentially identical.
|1851||Earth's rotation demonstrated by Leon Foucault.|
|1852||Gyroscope invented by Jean Foucalt|
|1853||George Cayley flew the first true aeroplane.|
|1854||Logic algebra presented by George Boole.|
Riemann's geometry presented by Georg Friedrich Riemann.
|1855||The German chemist Robert Bunsen starts using a burner developed by his technician.|
This burner quickly becomes known as the Bunsen burner, although credit for its invention should really go to Michael Faraday.
|1856||Relation between dielectric and magnetic constant and speed of light found by Wilhelm Eduard Weber and R.Kohlrausch.|
Bessemer converter developed by Henry Bessemer for the production of steel.
Neanderthal fossil found in Germany.
|1857||Matrices considered by Arthur Cayley|
|1858||Great Eastern is launched, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel it was five times larger than anything else afloat.|
|1859||Theory of Natural Selection proposed by Charles Darwin.|
|1860||The first fossil bird is found in Germany - it is called Archaeopteryx, meaning "ancient wing" in Greek.|
|1861||Germ theory proposed by Louis Pasteur.|
Rubidium discovered by Robert Bunsen. Caesium discovered by Robert Bunsen.
Thallium discovered by W. Crookes in London.
|1862||The Swedish doctor Allvar Gullstrand develops eyeglasses to correct astigmatism and to use when a patient's eye lens is removed in a cataract operation.|
|1863||TNT invented by J Willibrand.|
Indium discovered by F. Reich and H. Richter in Freiberg, Germany.
|1864||The distance of the Earth from the sum is calculated by astronomers as 147 million km - only 2.6 million km less than our estimate today.|
|1865||The German botanist Julius von Sachs discovers that chlorophyll is only found inside the chloroplasts in plant cells.|
|1866||Dynamite invented by Alfred Nobel.|
Mendel wrote a paper on his findings about heredity in plants.
|1867||Dating from tree rings is used for the first time.|
|1868||Cro-Magnon fossil found in France.|
|1869||Mendeleyev used a periodic table of known elements to correctly predict the properties then undiscovered elements.|
Suez Canal is completed.
|1870||Benjamin Peirce publishes Linear Associative Algebras at his own expense.|
Zenobe T. Gramme perfects the ring armature - the first practical electrical dynamo.
|1871||Betti publishes a memoir on topology which contains the "Betti numbers".|
Molybdenum discovered by P.J. Hjelm in Uppsala, Sweden.
|1872||Group theory applied to geometry by Felix Klein.|
|1873||Maxwell published "Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism".|
Vector analysis introduced by James C.Maxwell.
|1874||Cantor established principles of mathematical set theory.|
|1875||Gallium, one of the elements predicted by Mendeleev in 1871, is discovered by P.E. Lecoq de Boisbaudran in Paris, France.|
|1876||Telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell.|
|1877||Four stroke internal combustion engine invented by Nikolaus Otto.|
Moons of Mars discovered by Asaph Hall.
Edison invented the phonograph.
|1878||It is discovered that it is dissolved nitrogen in the blood of people working under pressure that causes the bends. The French physiologist Paul Bert suggests that if the pressure around the diver is lowered gradually the bends will not be a problem.|
Ytterbium discovered by J.C.G. de Marignac in Geneva, Switzerland.
|1879||Electric light bulb invented by Thomas Edison.|
Wundt established the first laboratory for psychology experiments.
Samarium discovered by P.E. Lecoq.
Scandium discovered by L.F. Nilson.
|1880||The German bacteriologist Robert Koch starts using solid cultures - gelatin - to grow bacteria.|
Louis Pasteur develops his germ theory of disease.
Gadolinium discovered by J.C. Galissard in Geneva, Switzerland.
|1881||First colour photograph taken by Frederic Ives.|
|1882||Lindemann proved that pi is transcendental.|
Edison created the first large power station in NYC
|1883||Wroblewski and Olszewski first produced liquid oxygen.|
|1884||The prime meridian is set through Greenwich, England.|
The first steam turbine generator for making electricity is developed and patented by Charles Parsons.
|1885||First petrol driven car takes to the road, designed by Karl Benz.|
Eastman invented the box camera.
Hertz discovered the photoelectric effect.
Balmer discovered spectral lines of hydrogen.
Neodymium discovered by Baron Auer von Weisbach.
|1886||Germanium discovered by Clemens Winkler.|
Dysprosium discovered by P.E. Lecoq de Boisbaudran in Paris, France.
Gadolinium isolated by P.E. Lecoq de Boisbaudran in Paris, France.
|1887||Mendelson and Morley conduct experiment showing no evidence for the existence of an "ether".|
|1888||Hertz discovered radio waves, verifying Maxwell's prediction of electromagnetic waves.|
Edison invented the kinetoscope.
|1889||Hollerith invented the first calculating machine, used punch cards.|
|1890||The English geologist Arthur Holmes uses radioactivity to date the Earth from rocks. He finds it is 4.6 billion years old.|
In Germany, Emil von Behring develops a vaccine against tetanus and diphtheria.
William Halsted, an American surgeon, introduces the practice of wearing rubber gloves during surgery.
|1891||Zip fastener invented by Whitcombe Judson. "Java Man" discovered in Indonesia.|
|1892||Argon discovered by William Ramsay.|
Diesel engine invented by Rudolf Diesel.
Dewar discovered that a double-walled bottle with a vacuum layer insulates the contents from heat flow.
In America, William Burroughs produces an adding-subtracting machine with a printer.
|1893||Pearson publishes the first in a series of 18 papers, written over the next 18 years, which introduce a number of fundamental concepts to the study of statistics. These papers contain contributions to regression analysis, the correlation coefficient and includes the chi-square test of statistical significance.|
|1894||The fossil remains of an early human are found in Java by Dutch scientist Marie Eugène Dubois. Dubois calls his discovery "Pithecanthropus erectus", but it is now known as "Homo erectus".|
|1895||X-rays discovered by Wilhelm Rontgen.|
Marconi invented antenna and wireless telegraph (short distance).
|1896||Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius links the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with global temperatures and suggests that the ice ages were the result of low carbon dioxide levels.|
Antoine-Henri Becquerel discovers rays produced by uranium affect photographic plates - the first scientific observation of natural radioactivity. X-rays are used in medicine to help set broken bones.
Marconi increased range of wireless telegraph to 1.6km.
|1897||Radium discovered by Pierre and Marie Currie.|
Electron discovered by Sir Joseph Thomson.
Marconi increased range of wireless telegraph to 29 km; first ship-to-shore message.
|1898||Neon discovered by William Ramsay and Morris Travers.|
|1899||Alpha and Beta rays discovered by Ernest Rutherford.|
J J Thomson measures the charge on the electron, and proves that it carries the same amount of charge as the hydrogen ions in electrolysis.
|1900||Radon discovered by Friedrich Dorn. First public awareness of Mendel's findings in genetics, when his 1865-1866 papers were found.|
Freud published "The Interpretation of Dreams".
Finlay discovered that yellow fever is spread by mosquitos.
Planck proposed that energy can only be absorbed or emitted by matter in discrete amounts (quanta).
Paul Karl Ludwig Drude shows that moving electrons conduct electricity in metals.
Paul Ulrich Villard is the first person to observe gamma radiation.
Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin builds his first rigid airship.
|1901||Marconi receives the first transatlantic signal from Cornwall to Newfoundland.|
|1902||Discovery of Tyrannosaurus Rex . Kennelly (U.S.) and Heaviside (England) independently discovered the ionosphere|
|1903||On this day Orville Wright made the first controlled powered flight. He flew a distance of 120 feet, lasting 12 seconds.|
The botanist De Vries discovered mutations in plants
|1904||Theory of radioactivity put forward by Rutherford and Frederick Soddy.|
Fleming invented vacuum tube diode.
Genetics experiments by Thomas Morgan, discovery of sex-linked mutations (among a group of fruit flies with normal red or unusual white eyes, all of the white-eyed offspring were male).
|1905||Einstein published papers on Brownian motion, the photoelectric effect, and the special theory of relativity.|
|1906||Third law of thermodynamics proposed by Hermann Nernst.|
Triode valve invented by Lee De Forest.
Proof of Earth's molten core proposed by Richard Oldham.
|1907||Einstein publishes his principle of equivalence, in which says that gravitational acceleration is indistinguishable from acceleration caused by mechanical forces. It is a key ingredient of general relativity.|
The first free flight of a helicopter was made by Paul Cornu at Lisieux, France.
Lutetium discovered by G. Urbain in Paris, France, and, independently, by C. James at the University of New Hampshire, USA.
|1908||Geiger counter invented by Hans Geiger and Rutherford.|
The "Tunguska event" - major damage to a forest region in Siberia caused by a comet or meteorite.
Ford produced the Model T automobile.
Wegener proposed theory of continental drift.
|1909||Louis Bleriot crosses the English Channel.|
|1910||First antibacterial agent, Salvarsan for the treatment of syphilis, specified by Paul Ehrlich.|
|1911||Ernest Rutherford discovers the atomic nucleus.|
Gyrocompass invented by Elmer Sperry.
Dutch physicist Heike Kammerlingh discovered superconductivity.
|1912||X-ray crystallography discovered by Max von Laue.|
Pickard invented the crystal diode and crystal detector.
Titanic sinks on it's maiden voyage, 1513 lives lost.
The term "vitamin" is used for the first time.
Max von Laue shows that X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation.
|1913||Model of the atom proposed by Niels Bohr.|
Vitamin A isolated by Elmer McCollum.
Edison invented motion pictures with sound.
Ford added the assembly line to his automobile plant.
|1914||Proton discovered by Ernest Rutherford.|
The Armoured Tank was invented by Ernest Swinton.
|1915||General relativity presented by Albert Einstein.|
Lusitania sunk without warning by a German submarine, 1198 people died.
|1916||Earth's molten core discovered Albert Michelson.|
Lewis proposed the idea of covalent bonds.
|1917||Kakeya poses his problem on minimising areas.|
|1918||The first mass spectrometer is built by English physicist Francis Aston. He uses it to identify isotopes in a number of different elements.|
|1919||Eddington recorded data on the sun's gravitational deflection of starlight during a solar eclipse, confirming Einstein's general theory of relativity|
|1920||American physicist William Draper Harkins suggests the existence of the neutron, a neutral particle in the nucleus.|
Evidence for the existence of the neutron will not actually be obtained until 1932.
|1921||The American chemist Thomas Midgley discovers that tetraethyl lead prevents "knock" in car engines - the beginning of lead compounds being added to petrol.|
A team of scientists extract insulin from human pancreases and start experiments on dogs to try and develop a treatment for diabetes.
The first air to air refuelling took place when Wesley May transfered from the wing of one plane to that of another with a five gallon can of fuel.
|1922||Elmer McCollum discovers vitamin D in cod liver oil and uses it for treating rickets.|
|1923||Freud published "The Ego and the Id".|
Development of the diptheria vaccine.
Production of insulin to treat diabetes.
Hubble estimated the distance from the Milky Way Galaxy to the Andromeda Galaxy.
Hafnium discovered by D. Coster and G.C. von Hevesey in Copenhagen, Denmark.
|1924||Discovery of Australopithecus Africanus, its human-sized brain too large to be that of an ape, but having the canine teeth of a gorilla.|
De Broglie proposed that all matter has wave properties.
|1925||Pauli proposed the Exclusion Principle, no two electrons in an atom can have the same set of quantum numbers.|
Scopes fired from biology teaching position for teaching evolution.
Vitamin B isolated by Joseph Goldberger.
Rhenium discovered by W. Noddack, O. Berg and Ida Tacke in Berlin, Germany.
|1926||Wave mechanics introduced by Erwin Schrodinger.|
Television invented by John Logie Baird.
Born proposed the statistical interpretation of the wave equation.
Goddard launched the first liquid-fueled rocket.
|1927||Heisenberg proposed the Uncertainty Principle, we cannot simultaneously determine the position and momentum of a subatomic particle.|
Experiment by Davisson and Germer, and simultaneous experiment by G. P. Thompson, proved the wave behaviour of electrons.
Dirac developed the relativistic quantum theory.
Big bang theory introduced.
|1928||Penicillin discovered by Alexander Fleming.|
Vitamin C discovered by Charles Glen King and Albert Szent-Gyorgi.
|1929||Hubble discovered that the galaxies are moving away from each other, causing an expansion of the universe.|
Robert Van de Graaff invents the first particle accelerator, known today as the Van de Graaff accelerator.
|1930||Tombaugh discovered Pluto.|
Jet engine invented by Frank Whittle.
|1931||Anderson discovered the positron.|
Cyclotron invented by Ernest O Lawrence, the first one measures just 100mm in diameter.
The structure of Vitamin A discovered by Paul Karrer.
|1932||James Chadwick discovers the neutron.|
The positron is discovered by Carl Anderson.
The wind tunnel was developed by Ford Motor Company.
Vitamin C isolated by Charles Glen King.
|1933||Electron microscope invented by Ernst Ruska.|
Vitamin C synthesised by adeus Reichstein.
|1934||Wernher von Braun, a German engineer, develops a rocket powered by liquid fuel. It reaches a height of 2.4km.|
Nylon patented by the inventor Wallace Carothers.
|1935||General Electric Corp. introduces fluorescent lights.|
|1936||Catalytic cracking is developed for refining petroleum.|
The Supermarine Spitfire makes it's first flight on 5 March.
|1937||Discovery of the muon.|
Alan Turing published the mathematical theory of computing.
Hindenburg bursts into flames on approach to it's mooring.
|1938||Hahn, Strassmann, Meitner and Frisch discovered nuclear fission.|
Bethe hypothesized that nuclear fusion is the source of energy in stars.
|1939||Discovery of Kirlian photography -- electrical "auras" surrounding living specimens.|
Nylon marketed by Du Pont.
|1940||Igor Sikorsky invents the helicopter.|
|1941||Glenn Seaborg isolates plutonium.|
|1942||Enrico Fermi produced the first nuclear chain reaction in an experiment. Establishment of the Manhattan Project to develop an atomic bomb|
|1943||The first kidney dialysis machine is developed by the Dutch doctor Wilhelm Kolff.|
Jacques Yves Cousteau invents the aqualung and opens up the exploration of life under the sea.
|1944||DDT is marketed.|
|1945||The first atomic bomb was detonated at Hiroshima, Japan, about 70,000 people were killed instantly; about 30,000 more people died within several weeks|
|1946||Gamow proposed the Big Bang hypothesis.|
The University of Pennsylvania developed the ENIAC computer, containing 18,000 vacuum tubes
|1947||W. F. Libby invented radiocarbon dating.|
Discovery of the pion, predicted by Yukawa in 1935.
The Bell X1 was the first aircraft to break through the sound barrier flown by Captain Charles E Yeager.
|1948||First transistor produced by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley.|
Quantum Electrodynamics proposed by Richard Feyman, Seymour Schwinger and Shin'chiro Tomonaga.
|1949||Introduction of the first commercial passenger jet, the DeHaviland Comet.|
|1950||The Dutch astronomer Jan Hendrik Oort proposes that a great cloud of cometary material and dust surrounds the solar system outside the orbit of Pluto. From this Oort cloud (as it becomes known) materials falls towards the Sun from time to time, and we see it as a comet.|
|1951||Experimental Breeder Reactor in Idaho (USA) is the first nuclear reactor to generate electricity.|
First commercially available computer, the UNIVAC 1. Franklin discovered nucleic acids (RNA and DNA), helical shape.
Hydrogen bomb detonated.
First transmission of colour TV pictures.
|1952||James Bonner shows that mitochondria are involved in the reactions of cellular respiration.|
A calf is produced using semen that had been frozen before it was used.
The first accident at a nuclear reactor occurs - a technician makes an error at the Chalk River reactor in Canada and the nuclear core explodes.
The American doctor and epidemiologist Jonas Salk develops a polio vaccine which is used in a mass inoculation programme which will start in 1954.
|1953||Watson and Crick discovered DNA has double helix, composed of ATCG bases occuring in pairs (A with T, and C with G). Miller produced amino acids from inorganic compounds and sparks.|
Radioactive fluorine dating proved that the "Piltdown Man" artifact was a hoax.
Raytheon Corporation produces the microwave oven.
Jerrold Zacharias built the first working caesium clock at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
|1954||The nuclear powered submarine Nautilus is launched.|
|1955||Atomically generated power first used in the US.|
Hovercraft patented by Christopher Cockerell.
|1956||Discovery of the neutrino, predicted by Pauli in 1930.|
Fortran developed by John Backus working at IBM.
|1957||Sputnik becomes the first man-made object to orbit the Earth.|
Tunnel diode invented by Leo Esaki at Sony.
|1958||Van Allen radiation belts discovered by James Van Allen. U.S.|
Congress established NASA.
Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments completes building of the first integrated circuit containing 5 components.
|1959||The USSR Lunar 2 probe becomes the first man-made object to reach a celestial body.|
The hovercraft is launched in Southampton, invented by Christopher Cockerell.
|1960||Maiman invented the ruby laser. Javan invented the helium-neon laser.|
Goodall studied chimpanzees in Tanzania.
Development and approval of the birth control pill.
|1961||Yuri Gagarin in Vostok 1 is the first human to travel in space. Alan Shepard becomes the first American to travel in space.|
Lawrencium first artificially created by a team led by American chemist Albert Ghiorso.
|1962||First US orbital spaceflight is made by John Glenn in Friendship 7.|
Fractal images invented by Benoit Mandlebrot.
|1963||Valentina Tereshkova is the first woman in space.|
Vine and Matthews discovered that rock layers with particular magnetic orientations, indicating reversals of the earth's magnetic field, are symmetrical about the mid-oceanic ridge, indicating that new crust is created at the ridge.
Gell-Mann proposed protons and neutrons are made of smaller particles (quarks).
|1964||Quark discovered by Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig.|
Discovery of a quasar.
Unmanned U.S. spacecraft transmitted television pictures of the moon before hitting the surface.
Wilson and Penzias discovered the background microwave radiation of the universe.
|1965||First spacewalk is made by Alexei Leonov from Voskhod 2.|
Word processor invented by IBM.
|1966||The first unmanned soft landing on the moon (Soviet Union).|
|1967||Pulsars discovered by Jocelyn Bell and Antony Hewish.|
Salam and Weinberg developed a model to unite electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force.
U.S. astronauts Grissom, White and Chaffee killed during ground test; Apollo program delayed.
|1968||First manned flight around the moon is made by Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders in Apollo 8.|
|1969||Apollo 11 crew make the first human landing on the moon. Neil Armstrong steps on the moon.|
Concorde made it's first flight.
|1970||Floppy disc invented by IBM.|
Apollo 13 moon landing cancelled due to severe malfunctions.
|1971||Pocket calculator invented by Texas instruments.|
Liquid Crystal Display invented by Hoffmann-LaRoche Laboratories.
|1972||Eugene Cernan and Jack Schmitt in Appolo 17 are the last to land on the Moon.|
|1973||U.S. launched Skylab space station.|
|1974||Discovery of "Lucy" in Africa, an almost complete homonid skelton over 3 million years old, only 3 and a half feet tall but having adult teeth, a small brain, walked upright.|
|1975||First unmanned soft landing on Venus (Soviet Union). The first U.S.-Soviet space docking (Apollo and Soyuz).|
Invention of the CAT scanner (computerized axial tomography).
Home video invented by Matsushita, JVC and Sony.
|1976||Cosmic string theory was introduced.|
|1977||Voyager spacecraft launched; contained recording of earth sounds, including music and greetings in 55 Earth languages.|
Submarine "Alvin" explored midoceanic ridge, discovered chemosynthetic life.
|1978||Mori proves the "Hartshorne conjecture", that projective spaces are the only smooth complete algebraic varieties with ample tangent bundles.|
Yuet Wai Kan and A. M. Dozy developed basic mapping techniques to find genes on chromosomes.
|1979||First "test tube baby" from artificial insemination.|
Voyager 1 and 2 photographed Jupiter.
|1980||Voyager 2 photographed Saturn.|
Introduction of the the communication protocol that led to the Internet.
|1981||Binnig and Rohrer invented the scanning tunneling microscope.|
U.S. launched the first space shuttle, Columbia, the first reuseable space vehicle.
|1982||First launch of communications satellites into orbit by space shuttle.|
|1983||Existence of W and Z particles confirmed by CERN.|
Pioneer 10 becomes the first spacecraft to leave our Solar System.
|1984||cdrom invented by Sony, Fujitsu and Philips.|
First retrieval of malfunctioning satellites, repair and relaunch by space shuttle.
Discovery of ozone hole over Antarctica.
|1985||Genetic fingerprinting invented by Alec Jeffreys.|
|1986||Voyager 2 photographed Uranus; discovered moons.|
Development of the first high temperature superconductors.
Soviet Union launched Mir space station.
U.S. space shuttle Challenger exploded on launch, killing 7 astronauts.
|1987||A fossilised dinosaur egg is discovered which X-rays show contains the oldest known embryo - 150 million years old.|
A team lead by Ching-Wu Chu at the University of Houston makes a material which is superconducting at the temperature of liquid nitrogen - minus 196°C.Herbert Naarmann and N Theophilou from BASF in Germany develop a form of plastic polymer that is in some ways a better conductor of electricity than copper is.
A crime suspect is convicted on the evidence of genetic fingerprinting in the UK.
Working with a team of American and Finnish scientists, David Page and his colleagues find a single gene on the Y chromosome which seems to control the sequence of events which leads to an embryo developing testes instead of ovaries - in other words, a gene for maleness.
|1988||The first successful transplant of a liver and small intestine is carried out.|
Chemists estimate that there are 10 million known chemical compounds and that 400 000 more are synthesised or discovered each year.
A patent is granted to cover a genetically engineered mouse.
|1989||Voyager 2 photographed Neptune; discovered moons.|
An asteroid came relatively close to colliding with the earth.
|1990||Hubble Space Telescope launched; optical defect discovered.|
|1991||Tracey, the first transgenic sheep, is born. She has human genes which enable her to produce human protein in her milk. This protein is extracted and can be used to help relieve the symptoms of people suffering from cystic fibrosis and emphysema.|
In Japan Sumio Iijima of NEC Corporation discovers carbon nanotubes, related to buckminsterfullerene and known as "bucky tubes". They may replace the silicon chip in the future.
|1992||The risk of carbon dioxide buildup and global warming is recognised during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Countries from all over the world meet up with the objective of stabilising green house gas concentrations at a level that will prevent interference with the world climate. It results in emissions limits being accepted - but with a very long time before these limits have to be met.|
The first 'xenotransplant' from one type of animal to another involving genetically engineered tissue (liver) is carried out successfully.
|1993||Andrew Wiles proves Fermat's last theorem, which had been first proposed in 1637|
|1994||Hubble Space Telescope confirmed existence of a black hole.|
Astronomers observed comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (S-L 9) colliding with Jupiter.
|1995||Discovery of the top quark at Fermilab.|
|1996||A team led by Leland H. Hartwell decipher the genome of baker′s yeast, the first organism with a nucleus to have its genome deciphered.|
|1997||Microscopic analysis of meteorite led to belief in ancient life on Mars. Pathfinder vehicle studied and photographed Mars.|
|1998||Thomas Hales proves Kepler's problem on sphere packing.|
|1999||Breitling Orbiter 3 Gondola becomes the first balloon to fly around the world nonstop.|
|2000||The first cloned pigs are born.|
|2001||The complete genetic code of the laboratory mouse is published by Craig Ventner and colleagues.|
|2002||Manindra Agrawal develops an algorithm that can be used to determine if any number is a prime number.|
|2003||Complete sequence of human Y-chromosome is published.|
Space shuttle Colombia disintegrates on re-entry killing all seven crew members.
|2004||SpaceShipOne makes it′s two flights beyond 100km in 14 days winning the Ansari X Prize.|
|2005||Kyoto Protocol comes into force and is ratified by 141 nations.|
|2006||North Korea allegedly tests its first nuclear device.|
|2007||Russia tests the largest conventional weapon ever, the Father of all bombs.|
|2008||The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, described as the biggest scientific experiment in history is powered up in Geneva, Switzerland.|
|2009||First lunar impact of the Centaur and LCROSS spacecrafts as part of NASA′s Lunar Precursor Robotic Program.|
|2011||The Boeing 787 Dreamliner receives certification from the EASA and the FAA.|
See also: On This Day.
- Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century How many of the 20th century's greatest engineering achievements will you use today?