APS News

This Month in Physics History

2016
August 1827: Robert Brown and Molecular Motion in a Pollen-filled Puddle
 
July 1816: Fresnel's Evidence for the Wave Theory of Light
 
June 1785: Coulomb Measures the Electric Force
 
May 29, 1919: Eddington Observes Solar Eclipse to Test General Relativity
 
April 28, 1831: Birth of Peter Guthrie Tait, Pioneer of Knot Theory
 
March 1844: Publication of Faraday’s Letter Describing His Ice Pail Experiment
 
February 1811: Amadeo Avogadro Enumerated the Molecular World
 
2015
January 22, 1980: Soviet Dissident Andrei Sakharov Arrested
 
December 1910: Neon lights debut at Paris Motor Show
 
November 1696: William Whiston’s Explanation for Noah’s Flood
 
October 8, 1945: First Patent for the Microwave
 
August 1620: Kepler’s Mother Imprisoned for Witchcraft
 
July 2, 1591: Death of Vincenzo Galilei
 
June 1849: James Prescott Joule and the Mechanical Equivalent of Heat
 
May 5, 1933: The New York Times Covers Discovery of Cosmic Radio Waves
 
April 28, 1926: Schroedinger Describes “Wave Mechanics” in Letter to Einstein
 
March 9, 1611: Dutch astronomer Johannes Fabricius observes sunspots
 
February 11, 1939: Meitner/Frisch paper on nuclear fission
 
January 1, 1925: Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and the Day the Universe Changed
 
2014
December 20, 1951: First Electricity Generated by Atomic Power
 
November 10, 1986: Death of Leona Woods Marshall Libby
 
October 13, 1967: Kastler reviews his Nobel-winning work on Hertzian resonances in Science
 
August 18 and October 20, 1868: Discovery of Helium
 
July 19, 1595: Kepler’s Insight Leading to Mysterium Cosmographicum
 
May 21, 1946: Louis Slotin Becomes Second Victim of “Demon Core”
 
April 3, 1965: Power in the Sky
 
March 1880: The Curie Brothers Discover Piezoelectricity
 
February 1932: James Chadwick’s Letter to Nature on the Neutron
 
January 23, 1952: Alan Turing’s house is burglarized
 
2013
December: Women and the Nobel Prize in Physics
 
November 2002: Perelman Posts Proof of Poincaré Conjecture to arXiv
 
October 1993: Congress Cancels Funding for the SSC
 
Lord Rayleigh and the Discovery of Argon: August 13, 1894
 
July 21, 2004: Hawking concedes bet on black hole information loss
 
June 10, 1854: Riemann’s classic lecture on curved space
 
May 11, 1962: Feynman’s “Brownian Ratchet”
 
April 10, 1661: Hooke’s pamphlet on capillary action
 
March 23, 1882: Birth of Emmy Noether
 
February 26, 1870: First pneumatic powered subway line in New York City
 
January 2, 1839: First Daguerrotype of the Moon
 
2012
December 18, 1926: Gilbert Lewis coins “photon” in letter to Nature
 
November 1777: Discovery of Lichtenberg Figures
 
October, 1644: Torricelli Demonstrates the Existence of a Vacuum: Elegant physics experiment; enduring practical invention
 
August 10, 1915: Henry G.J. Moseley Killed in Action
 
July 24, 1954: Operation Moon Bounce
 
June 1911: Invention of the Geiger Counter
 
May 29, 1948: Results of first experiment on the Casimir effect
 
April 23, 1762: Joseph Black and Latent Heat
 
March 6, 1913: Bohr describes his model of atom to Rutherford
 
February 6, 1957: MIT introduces the first cryotron
 
January 19, 1894: James Dewar produces solid air
 
2011
December 2, 1942: First self-sustained nuclear chain reaction
 
Nov. 19, 1711: Birth of Mikhail Lomonosov, Russia’s first modern scientist
 
October 21, 1914: Birth of Samuel W. Alderson, inventor of the crash test dummy
 
August 15, 1758: Death of Pierre Bouguer
 
July 21, 2000: Fermilab announces first direct evidence for tau neutrino
 
June 1941: Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil submit patent for radio frequency hopping
 
François-Marie Raoult and Raoult’s Law: May 23, 1887
 
April 16, 1901: Death of Henry Rowland
 
March 16, 1699: William Chaloner, counterfeiter, hanged
 
February 12, 1935: Patent granted for Van de Graaff generator
 
January 10, 1919: Death of Wallace Sabine, pioneer of architectural acoustics
 
2010
December 20, 1900: Nature reports on William Duddell’s “musical arcs”
 
November 11, 1930: Patent granted for Einstein-Szilard Refrigerator
 
October 18, 1933: Louis de Broglie elected to Academy
 
August 1774: Priestley isolates a new “air,” leading to discovery of oxygen
 
July 1849: Fizeau publishes results of speed of light experiment
 
Circa June 1748: Publication of <em>Analytical Institutions</em>
 
May 16, 1960: Maiman Builds First Working Laser
 
April 12, 1912: Victor Hess’s balloon flight during total eclipse to measure cosmic rays
 
March 21, 1768: Birth of Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier
 
February 3, 1925: Death of Oliver Heaviside
 
January 15, 1955: "Characteristics of Bubble Chambers" Published in <em>Physical Review</em>
 
2009
December 1840: Joule’s abstract on converting mechanical power into heat
 
November 27, 1783: John Michell anticipates black holes
 
October 22, 2004: Discovery of Graphene
 
September, 1911–The Sackur-Tetrode Equation: How Entropy Met Quantum Mechanics
 
July 1654: Pascal’s Letters to Fermat on the “Problem of Points”
 
June 12, 1824: Sadi Carnot publishes treatise on heat engines
 
May 31, 1957: DeWitt’s Letter on Everett’s “Many Worlds” Theory
 
April 25, 1954: Bell Labs demonstrates the first practical silicon solar cell
 
March 13, 1930: Clyde Tombaugh’s discovery of Pluto announced
 
February 1928: Raman Scattering Discovered
 
January 1998: The accelerating expansion of the universe
 
2008
December 1706: Birth of Émilie du Châtelet
 
November 1919: Elmer Imes publishes work in infrared spectroscopy
 
October 1958: Physicist Invents First Video Game
 
August 1948: Maria Goeppert Mayer and the Nuclear Shell Model
 
July 1820: Oersted and electromagnetism
 
June 1798: Cavendish weighs the world
 
May 1801: Thomas Young’s double slit experiment
 
April 1, 1948: The alpha beta gamma paper explains the origin of the elements
 
March 1, 1896: Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity
 
February 1927: Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle
 
January 1925 & 1929: Edwin Hubble Expands our View of the Universe
 
2007
December 1938: Discovery of nuclear fission
 
November 1887: Michelson and Morley report their failure to detect the luminiferous ether
 
October, 1957: Soviets launch first satellites into orbit
 
September 1904: Robert Wood debunks N-rays
 
July 1957: Bardeen, Cooper, and Schrieffer submit their paper, “Theory of Superconductivity”
 
June 1876: Edward Bouchet becomes the first African American PhD in physics
 
May 1932: Chadwick reports the discovery of the neutron
 
April 1911: Kamerlingh Onnes Begins work on Superconductivity
 
March 16, 1938: Katharine Blodgett patents anti-reflective coatings
 
February 3, 1851: Léon Foucault demonstrates that Earth rotates
 
January 1925: Wolfgang Pauli announces the exclusion principle
 
2006
December 23, 1750: Ben Franklin Attempts to Electrocute a Turkey
 
November, 1783: Intrepid physicist is first to fly
 
October 1847: Maria Mitchell Discovers a Comet
 
August 1913: Robert Millikan Reports His Oil Drop Results
 
July 3, 1977: MRI uses fundamental physics for clinical diagnosis
 
June, ca. 240 B.C. Eratosthenes Measures the Earth
 
May 1911: Rutherford and the Discovery of the Atomic Nucleus
 
April 1935: British Patent for Radar System for Air Defense Granted to Robert Watson-Watt
 
March 20, 1800: Volta describes the electric battery
 
February 1968: Discovery of pulsars announced.
 
January 1938: Discovery of Superfluidity
 
2005
Einstein's quest for a unified theory
 
Einstein and the EPR Paradox
 
Einstein Lays Theoretical Foundation for BECs
 
Einstein predicts stimulated emission
 
Einstein's Biggest Blunder
 
Einstein's Attitudes Towards Women by guest columnist Nina Byers
 
Einstein and general relativity
 
Energy and mass are equivalent
 
Einstein and Special Relativity
 
Einstein and Brownian Motion
 
Einstein and The Photoelectric Effect
 
2004
December 1898: The Curies Discover Radium
 
November 25, 1975: Patent for Full-body CAT Scan
 
October 1807: Invention of the camera lucida
 
August 1932: Discovery of the Positron
 
July 13, 1901: Santos-Dumont Flies Around Eiffel Tower
 
June 5, 1995: First Bose Einstein Condensate
 
May 1816: Germain Forms Theory of Elastic Surfaces
 
April 15, 1452: The Birth of a Visionary — Leonardo da Vinci
 
Lens Crafters Circa 1590:The Invention of the Microscope
 
February 9, 1990: Death of George de Mestral
 
January 1884: First U.S. Patent for a Roller Coaster
 
2003
December 1958: Invention of the Laser
 
November 1, 1952: Teller and the Hydrogen Bomb
 
October 22, 1938: "Invention of Xerography"
 
September 1981: Invention of the scanning tunneling microscope
 
July 16, 1945: First nuclear bomb exploded
 
June 1931: Lawrence and the First Cyclotron
 
May 1888: Tesla Patents "Electric Transmission of Power"
 
April 18, 1916: Langmuir Patents the Incandescent Lamp
 
March 13, 1781: Herschel discovers the planet Uranus
 
February 1987: Discovery of Supernova 1987A
 
Circa January 1961: Lorenz and the Butterfly Effect
 
2002
December 14, 1989: Death of Andrei Sakharov
 
November 1872: Death of Mary Somerville
 
October 1900: Max Planck's formula for black body radiation.
 
August 1946: The Moore School Lectures
 
June 1963: Discovery of the cosmic microwave background
 
June 1871: Maxwell and his Demon
 
May 24, 1844: Morse and the telegraph.
 
April 1995: Discovery of the top quark at Fermilab
 
Circa March 1935: Schroedinger's Paradoxical Cat
 
February 1996: Kasparov vs. Deep Blue
 
January 1665: Publication of Hooke's Micrographia
 
2001
December 27, 1956: Fall of Parity Conservation.
 
November 8, 1895: Roentgen's Discovery of X-Rays
 
October 1871: Babbage's Successful Failure—The First Computer
 
September 4, 1821 and August 29, 1831: Faraday and electromagnetism.
 
July 20, 1969: The first manned lunar landing.
 
June 29, 1954: Oppenheimer's Security Clearance Revoked
 
May 1609: Galileo first hears about the telescope.
 
April 1946: First Concept of Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer
 
March 16, 1926: Launch of the First Liquid Fuel Rocket
 
February 2, 1893: Edison Records First Sneeze on Film
 
January 28, 1986: The Challenger Explosion
 
2000
December 29, 1959: Feynman's Classic Caltech Lecture
 
November 17 - December 23, 1947: Invention of the First Transistor
 
October 1897: The Discovery of the Electron
 
September 1905: Einstein's Most Famous Formula
 
July 5, 1687: Publication of Sir Isaac Newton's Principia
 
June 2 - 4, 1947: The Shelter Island Conference
 
May 10, 1752: First experiment to draw electricity from lightning
 
April 26, 1920: The Shapley-Curtis Debate
 
March 10, 1876: The First Transmission of Speech