- Focus on Physics

Physics Timeline 1861 – 1899

Dates Characters Theories and discoveries
1861 von Bunsen, Kirchhoff Elements caesium and rubidium found in spectra
1861 William Crookes Element thallium found by its spectra
1861 Johann Madler Olbers’s paradox would be resolved if the universe had a finite age
1862 Anders Angstrom Observed hydrogen in the sun
1863 William Huggins Stellar spectra indicate that stars are made of same elements found on Earth
1863 Reich, Richter Element indium from its spectra
1864 John Newlands Chemical law of octaves
1864 James Clerk Maxwell Equations of electromagnetic wave propagation in the ether
1865 Rudolf Clausius Introduction of the term entropy
1867 James Clerk Maxwell Statistical physics and thermal equilibrium
1867 Henry Roscoe Isolation of element vanadium
1868 Pierre-Jules Janssen Lines of helium observed in the sun’s spectrum
1868 Lockyer, Crookes Element helium recognised and named
1868 William Huggins Doppler shifts of stellar spectra
1869 Dmitri Mendeleyev Periodic table of elements
1871 Dmitri Mendeleyev Prediction of elements: scandium, germanium, technetium, francium & gallium
1871 Ludwig Boltzmann Classical explanation of Dulong-Petit specific heats
1871 Tyndall and Rayleigh Light scattering and why the sky is blue
1872 Ludwig Boltzmann H-theorem
1873 James Clerk Maxwell Electromagnetic nature of light and prediction of radio waves
1873 Johannes van der Waals Intermolecular forces in fluids
1874 George Stoney Estimated the unit of charge and named it the electron
1875 Heinrich Weber Apecific heat curves of solids
1875 James Clerk Maxwell Atoms must have a structure
1877 Johann Loschmidt Questions validity of second law for time symmetric dynamics
1877 Ludwig Boltzmann Boltzmann’s probability equation for entropy
1877 Asaph Hall Two moons of Mars
1877 Cailletet and Pictet Liquid oxygen and nitrogen
1878 Josiah Willard Gibbs Thermodynamics of chemistry and phase changes
1879 Josef Stefan Empirical discovery of total radiation law, (Stefan’s law)
1879 Lars Fredrik Nilson Element scandium discovered
1879 Willaim Crookes Cathode rays may be negatively charged particles
1879 Albert Michelson Improved measurements of the speed of light
1880 Pierre & Jacques Curie Piezoelectricity
1881 Albert Michelson Light interferometer and absence of ether drift
1881 Josiah Willard Gibbs Vector algebra
1883 Ivan Puluy Prior discovery of X-rays
1883 Thomas Edison Thermionic emission
1883 George Fitzgerald Theory of radio transmission
1884 Ludwig Boltzmann Derivation of Stefan’s law for black bodies
1885 Johann Balmer Empirical formula for hydrogen spectral lines
1885 James Dewar Vacuum flask invented
1886 Henri Moissan Element fluorine discovered
1886 Clemens Winkler Element germanium discovered
1887 Heinrich Hertz Transmission, reception and reflection of radio waves
1887 Michelson and Morley Absence of ether drift
1887 Michelson and Morley Fine structure of hydrogen spectrum
1887 Hertz, Hallwachs Photoelectric effect
1887 Woldemar Voigt Anticipated Lorentz transform to derive Doppler shift
1889 George Fitzgerald Length contraction
1889 Rolond von Eotvos Torsion balance to test equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass
1890 Johannes Rydberg Empirical formulae for spectral lines and Rydberg constant
1892 Hendrick Lorentz Theory that electricity is due to charged particles
1893 Ernst Mach Influence of all the mass in the universe determines what is natural motion
1893 Wilhelm Wien Derivation of black body displacement law
1893 Oliver Lodge Ether could not be carried along by matter
1894 Rayleigh and Ramsey Element argon discovered
1894 Heinrich Hertz Radio waves travel at speed of light and can be refracted and polarised
1894 James Dewar Liquid oxygen
1894 Pierre Curie Why are there no magnetic monopoles?
1895 Ramsay,Cleve & Langlet Isolation of helium from uranium ore
1895 Wilhelm Roentgen X-rays
1895 Korteweg & de Vries Explanation of solitary waves
1895 Jean-Baptiste Perrin Cathode rays are negative particles
1895 Pierre Curie Loss of magnetism at high temperature,(Curie point)
1895 Hendrick Lorentz First form of Lorentz transformation
1895 Hendrick Lorentz Electromagnetic force on a charged particle
1896 Wilhelm Wien Conjectured exponential black body law
1896 Pieter Zeeman Spectral line splitting by magnetic field
1896 Antoine Becquerel Natural radioactivity in uranium ore
1897 Ludwig Boltzmann Time reversal symmetry of electromagnetism
1897 Friedrich Paschen Verification of Wien’s black body law at long wavelengths
1897 Kaufmann, JJ Thomson Measurement of electron charge to mass ratio by deflection of cathode rays
1897 Weichert, JJ Thomson Conjectured existence of light electron
1898 James Dewar Liquid hydrogen
1898 Guglielmo Marconi Transmission of signals across the English channel
1898 Pierre and Marie Curie Separation of radioactive elements, radium and polonium
1898 Ramsey and Travers Neon, krypton, xenon
1898 Joseph Larmor Complete form of Lorentz transformation
1898 Henri Poincare Questions absolute time and simultaniety
1898 Ernest Rutherford Alpha and beta radiation
1899 Joseph John Thomson Measurement of the charge and mass of the electron
1899 Andre Debierne Element actinium
1899 Max Planck Universal scale of measurment from fundamental
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