- Focus on Physics

Physics Timeline 1941 – 1960

Dates Characters Theories and discoveries
1941 MacMillan, Kennedy, Seaborg, Wahl Element 94, plutonium, second transuranian elements
1941 Lev Davidovich Landau Theory of superfluids
1941 Rossi and Hall Muon decay used to verify relativistic time dilation
1941 Mckellar and Adams Cosmic cyanogen observed to be at temperature of CBR, but significance not recognised
1941 J. Robert Oppenheimer “Manhatten Project” is founded to develop atomic bomb
1942 Enrico Fermi The first self sustaining fission reaction
1942 Grote Reber Radio map of the sky
1943 Ernest Stueckelberg Renormalisation of QED
1943 Sakata, Inoue Theory of pion decay to muons
1944 Lars Onsager General theory of phase transitions
1944 Seaborg, James, Morgan, Ghiorso, Thompson Elements 95; americium, 96; curium
1944 Leprince-Ringuet and Lheritier The K+ found in cosmic rays
1945 Robert Oppenheimer et al First atomic bomb
1945 Mauchly and Eckert First electronic computer ENIAC
1946 James Hey Discovery of radio source Cygnus A
1946 George Gamow Cold big bang model
1946 Bloch and Purcell Nuclear magnetic resonance
1947 Claude Shannon Information theory
1947 Conversi, Pancini, Piccioni Indication that the muon is not the mediator of the strong force
1947 Hartmut Kallman Scintillation counter
1947 Denis Gabor Theory of holograms
1947 Powell, Occhialini Negative pion found
1947 Willis Lamb Fine structure of hydrogen spectrum, the Lamb shift
1947 Hans Bethe Renormalisation of Lamb shift calculation
1947 Kusch and Folley Measurement of the anomolous magnetic moment of the electron
1947 Hartland Snyder Quantised space-time
1948 Tomonaga, Schwinger, Feynman Renormalisation of QED
1948 Alpher, Bethe & Gamow Explain nucleosynthesis in hot big bang
1948 Alpher and Herman Prediction of cosmic background radiation
1948 Bondi, Gold, Hoyle Steady state theory of the universe
1948 Goldhaber & Goldhaber Experimental proof that beta particles are electrons
1948 Richard Feynman Path integral approach to quantum theory
1948 Bardeen, Brattain, Shockley Semi-conductors and transistors
1948 Snell and Miller Decay of the neutron
1948 Freeman Dyson Equivalence of Feynman and Schwinger-Tomonaga QED
1948 Hendrik Casimir Theory of Casimir force
1949 Leighton, Anderson, Seriff Muon is spin half
1949 Seaborg, Ghiorso, Thompson Element 97, berkelium
1949 Haxel, Jensen, Mayer, Suess Nuclear shell model
1949 Fred Hoyle First use of the term “big bang”
1950 Paul Dirac First suggestion of string theory
1950 Seaborg, Ghiorso, Street, Thompson Element 98, californium
1950 Jan Oort Theory of comet origins
1950 Bjorklund, Crandall, Moyer, York Neutral pion
1950 Albert Einstein Einstein’s failed unified theory
1951 Smith and Baade Identify a radio galaxy
1951 Petermann, Stueckelberg Renormalisation group
1952 Courant, Livingston, Snyder Strong focusing principle for particle accelerators
1952 Glaser, Alvarez Bubble chamber
1952 Seaborg et al Elements 99; einsteinium, 100; fermium
1952 Walter Baade Resolves confusion over two different types of Cepheid variable stars
1952 Edward Teller et al Hydrogen bomb
1952 Joseph Weber Described the principle of the maser
1953 Gell-Mann and Nishijima Strangeness
1953 Gerard de Vaucouleurs Galaxy superclusters and large scale inhomogenieties
1953 Charles Townes Maser
1953 Alpher, Herman, Follin First recognition of the horizon problem in cosmology
1954 Yang and Mills Non-abelian gauge theory
1954 Low and Gell-Mann Renormalisation group revisited
1955 Louis Essen Caesium atomic clock
1955 Martin Ryle Radio telescope interferometry
1955 John Wheeler Describes the space-time foam at the Planck scale
1955 Ilya Prigogine Thermodynamics of irreversible processes
1955 Carl von Weizsacker Multiple Quantisation and ur-theory
1955 Seaborg et al Element 101, mendelevium
1955 Chamberlain, Segre & Wiegand Anti-proton
1956 Reines and Cowan Neutrino detection
1956 Cork, Lambertson, Piccioni, Wenzel Evidence for anti-neutron
1956 Block, Lee and Yang Weak interaction could violate parity
1956 Reines and Cowan Anti-neutrino detection
1956 Erwin Muller Field ion microscope and first images of individual atoms
1956 Cook, Lambertson, Piconi, Wentzel Anti-neutron
1968 Abdus Salam 2-component neutrino
1957 Burbidge, Burbidge, Hoyle, Fowler Formation of light elements in stars
1957 Friedman, Lederman, Telegdi, Wu Parity violation in weak decays
1957 Bardeen, Cooper, Schrieffer BCS theory of superconductivity
1957 Hugh Everett Many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics
1957 Feynman, Gell-Mann, Marshak, Sudarshan V-A theory of weak interactions
1957 John Wheeler Pregeometry and space-time foam
1958 Townes and Schawlow Theory of laser
1958 Martin Ryle Evidence for evolution of distant cosmological radio sources
1958 Seaborg et al Element 102, nobelium
1958 Gary Feinberg Predicts that muon neutrino is distinct from electron neutrino
1958 David Finkelstein Resolves the nature of the black hole event horizon
1959 MIT Radar echo from Venus
1959 Ramsey, Kleppner, Goldenberg Hydrogen maser atomic clock
1959 Tulio Regge Theory of Regge poles
1960 Theodore Maiman Ruby laser
1960 Martin Kruskal New coordinates to study Schwarzschild black hole
1960 Eugene Wigner The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in natural science
1960 Pound and Rebka Measurement of gravitational red-shift
1960 Matthews and Sandage Optical identification of a quasar
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