science timeline

Events

The elements carbon, sulfur, iron, tin, lead, copper, mercury, silver, and gold are known to humans.

Approx. 1500

The elements arsenic, antimony, bismuth, and zinc are known to humans.

1600

German physician Hennig Brand discovers phosphorus.

1669

Swedish chemist Georg Brandt discovers cobalt.

1735

Spanish military Leader Don Antonio de Ulloa discovers platinum .

1748

Swedish mineralogist Axel Fredrik Cronstedt discovers nickel .

1751

English chemist and physicist Henry Cavendish discovers hydrogen .

1766

Scottish physician and chemist Daniel Rutherford discovers nitrogen .

1772

Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele discovers chlorine .

1774

English chemist Joseph Priestley and Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele discover oxygen .

1774

Swedish mineralogist Johann Gottlieb Gahn discovers manganese .

1774

swedish chemist Peter Jacob Hjelm discovers molybdenum .

1781

Austrian mineralogist Baron Franz Joseph Müller von Reichenstein discovers tellurium

1782

Spanish scientists Don Fausto D'Elhuyard and Don Juan José D'Elhuyard, and Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele discover tungsten .

1783

German chemist Martin Klaproth discovers uranium and zirconium.

1789

English clergyman William Gregor discovers titanium.

1791

Finnish chemist Johan Gadolin discovers yttrium.

1794

French chemist Louis-Nicolas Vauquelin discovers chromium and beryllium.

1797 - 1798

Spanish-Mexican metallurgist Andrés Manuel del Río discovers vanadium

1801

English chemist Charles Hatchett discovers niobium.

1801

Swedish chemist and mineralogist Anders Gustaf Ekeberg discovers tantalum.

1802

English chemist and physicist William Hyde Wollaston discovers palladium.

1803

Swedish chemists Jöns Jakob Berzelius and Wilhelm Hisinger, and German chemist Martin Klaproth discover black rock of Bastnas, Sweden, which led to the discovery of several elements.

1803

English chemist Smithson Tennant discovers osmium and iridium.

1804

English chemist and physicist William Hyde Wollaston discovers rhodium .

1804

English chemist Sir Humphry Davy discovers potassium, sodium, barium, strontium, calcium, and magnesium.

1807 - 1808

French chemists Louis Jacques Thênard and Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac discover boron.

1808

French chemist Bernard Courtois discovers iodine.

1811

German chemist Friedrich Stromeyer discovers cadmium.

1817

Swedish chemist Johan August Arfwedson discovers lithium.

1817

Swedish chemists Jöns Jakob Berzelius and J. G. Gahn discover selenium.

1818

Swedish chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius discovers silicon.

1823

Danish chemist and physicist Hans Christian Oersted discovers aluminum.

1825

French chemist Antoine-Jérôme Balard discovers bromine.

1826

Swedish chemist Carl Gustav Mosander discovers cerium, terbium, lanthanum, erbium, and ruthenium .

1828 - 1844

Swedish chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius discovers thorium.

1828

Swedish chemist Nils Gabriel Sefström rediscovers vanadium.

1830

British physicist Sir William Crookes discovers thallium .

1861

German chemists Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff discovers rubidium .

1861

German chemists Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff discovers cesium .

1861

German chemists Ferdinand Reich and Hieronymus Theodor Richter discovers indium

1863

Paul-émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran discovers gallium .

1875

Jean-Charles-Galissard de Marignac receives partial credit for the discovery of ytterbium

1878

Swedish chemist Lars Nilson receives partial credit for the discovery of ytterbium.

1879

Swedish chemist Per Teodor Cleve discovers holmium, scandium, and thulium.

1879

French chemist Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran discovers samarium.

1880

French chemist Jean-Charles-Galissard de Marignac discovers gadolinium.

1880

German chemist Clemens Alexander Winkler discovers germanium.

1885

Austrian chemist Carl Auer (Baron von Welsbach) discovers praseodymium.

1885

Austrian chemist Carl Auer (Baron von Welsbach) discovers neodymium.

1885

French chemist Henri Moissan discovers fluorine.

1886

French chemist Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran discovers dysprosium.

1886

English chemists Lord Rayleigh and William Ramsav discover argon.

1894

English chemist Sir William Ramsay and Swedish chemists Per Teodor Cleve and Nils Abraham Langlet discover helium.

1895

French physicists Marie and Pierre Curie discover radium.

1898

English chemists William Ramsay and Morris Travers discover neon.

1898

English chemists William Ramsay and Morris Travers discover krypton.

1898

French physicists Marie and Pierre Curie discover polonium.

1898

English chemists William Ramsay and Morris Travers discover xenon.

1898

French chemist André Debierne discovers actinium.

1899

German physicist Friedrich Ernst Dorn discovers radon.

1900

French chemist Eugène-Anatole Demarçay discovers europium.

1901

French chemist Georges Urbain receives partial credit for the discovery of ytterbium.

1907

French chemist Georges Urbain discovers lutetium.

1907

German physicists Use Meitner and Otto Hahn discover protactinium.

1917

Dutch physicist Dirk Coster and Hungarian chemist George Charles de Hevesy discover hafnium.

1923

German chemists Walter Noddack, Ida Tacke, and Otto Berg discover rhenium.

1925

French chemist Marguerite Perey discovers francium.

1933

Italian physicist Emilio Segré and his colleague Carlo Perrier discover technetium.

1939

Edwin M. McMillan and Philip H. Abelson prepare neptunium.

1940

Dale R. Corson, Kenneth R. Mackenzie, and Emilio Segré discover astatine.

1940

University of California at Berkeley researcher Glenn Seaborg and others prepare plutonium.

1940

University of California at Berkeley researchers Glenn Seaborg, Albert Ghiorso, Ralph A. James, and Leon O. Morgan prepare americium .

1944

University of California at Berkeley researchers Glenn Seaborg, Albert Ghiorso, and Ralph A. James prepare curium .

1944

Scientists at the Oak Ridge Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, discover promethium.

1945

University of California at Berkeley researchers prepare berkelium .

1949

University of California at Berkeley researchers Glenn Seaborg, Albert Ghiorso, Kenneth Street, Jr., and Stanley G. Thompson prepare californium .

1950

University of California at Berkeley researchers prepare einsteinium .

1954

University of California at Berkeley researcher Albert Ghiorso and others prepare fermium.

1954