Chemistry Timeline

Main

Gutenberg printing press

1450

Discovery of the Americas

1492

Reformation of the Catholic Church

1517

Galileo convicted of heresy

1613

Antoine Lavoisier – law of conservation of mass; father of modern chemistry

1772

Joseph Priestley – discovered oxygen, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide

1774

Declaration of Independence

1776

Alessandro Volta – electrochemical cell and batteries

1800

Dalton

1802

John Dalton is best known for his pioneering work in the development of modern atomic theory in 1802.

Michael Faraday – electricity and electrochemistry

1831

First transcontinental railroad in US

1860

Civil War

1861

Goldstein

1886

In 1886, Goldstein concluded that in addition to the electrons, or cathode rays, that travel from the negatively charged cathode toward the positively charged anode, there is another ray that travels in the opposite direction, from the anode toward the cathode.

Louis Pasteur – pasteurization process

1888

Guglielmo Marconi – radio

1895

Alfred Nobel – dynamite, Nobel prize

1895

Henri Becquerel – radioactivity

1896

Marie Curie – radioactivity

1896

Thomson

1897

J.J. Thomson’s fame derives primarily from his discovery of the electron in 1897.

Planck

1900

Max Planck made many contributions to theoretical physics and attained his fame via his role as originator of the quantum theory in 1900. This theory revolutionized our understanding of atomic and subatomic processes, it is one of the fundamental theories of 20th-century physics, and has led to industrial and military applications that affect every aspect of modern life.

Einstein

1905

Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity in 1905. He also contributed to Chemistry in numerous other ways.

Bohr

1913

Bohr concentrated the majority of his effort on researching the structure of the atom, and in 1913 he completed his theory of atomic structure.

Moseley

1913

In 1913, Henry Moseley developed the application of X-ray spectra to study atomic structure; Moseley's discoveries resulted in a more accurate positioning of elements in the Periodic Table by closer determination of atomic numbers.

Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand

1914

Bolshevik Revolution

1917

Treaty of Versailles

1919

Philo Farnsworth – TV

1921

Millikan

1921

In 1921, Robert Millikan proved that this radiation is indeed of extraterrestrial origin, and he named it “cosmic rays.”

Rutherford

1921

Ernest Rutherford discovered alpha and beta rays, set forth the laws of radioactive decay, and identified alpha particles as helium nuclei in 1921.

Sir Frederick Banting – isolated insulin

1921

de Broglie

1924

French quantum physicist Louis de Broglie introduced his theory of particle-wave duality in 1924.

Heisenberg

1925

Werner Heisenberg is best known for the development of the matrix mechanics formulation of quantum mechanics in 1925 and for asserting the uncertainty principle in 1926, although he also made important contributions to nuclear physics, quantum field theory and particle physics.

Wallace Carothers – neoprene and nylon

1930

Chadwick

1932

James Chadwick discovered the neutron in 1932.

Leo Szilard – nuclear chain reactions and atomic bomb

1933

Schrödinger

1935

Erwin Schrödinger was an Austrian theoretical physicist who achieved fame for his contributions to quantum mechanics by philosophical issues raised by his 1935 “Schrödinger's cat” thought experiment perhaps remain his best known legacy, but the Schrödinger equation, which he formulated in 1926 to describe the quantum state of a system, is his most enduring achievement at a more technical level.

Bombing of Pearl Harbor

1941

First cellular phone

1973

Kary Mullis – polymerase chain reaction

1983

Initial concept for world wide web (internet)

1991