This timeline lists significant discoveries in physics and the laws of nature, including experimental discoveries, theoretical proposals that were confirmed experimentally, and theories that have significantly influenced current thinking in modern physics. Such discoveries are often a multi-step, multi-person process. Multiple discovery sometimes occurs when multiple research groups discover the same phenomenon at about the same time, and scientific priority is often disputed. The listings below include some of the most significant people and ideas by date of publication or experiment.

- 6th century BCE - Ionian school of Greek philosophers: Inception of cosmology and natural philosophy
- 610-546 BCE - Anaximander: Concept of Earth floating in space
^{ [1] } - 585 BCE - Thales of Miletus: Solar eclipse predicted
- 460-370 BCE - Democritus: Atomism via thought experiment
- 384-322 BCE - Aristotle: Aristotelian physics, earliest effective theory of physics
^{ [2] } - 367-282 BCE - Ptolemy: Ptolemaic geocentric system, a phenomenological model of the solar system
- 300 BCE - Euclid: Euclidean geometry
- 250 BCE - Archimedes: Archimedes' principle
- 310-230 BCE - Aristarchos of Samos proposes a Heliocentric model
^{ [3] } - 276-194 BCE - Eratosthenes: Circumference of the Earth measured
- 190-150 BCE - Seleucus of Seleucia: Support of Heliocentrism based on reasoning
^{ [4] } - 220-150 BCE - Apollonius of Perga and Hipparchus: Invention of Astrolabe
- 205-86 BCE - Hipparchus or unknown: Antikythera mechanism an analog computer of planetary motions
- 129 BCE - Hipparchus: Hipparchus star catalog of the entire sky
^{ [5] }and precession of the equinoxes

- 500 CE - John Philoponus: Theory of impetus
- 984 CE - Ibn Sahl: Law of refraction
- 1010 - Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen): Optics, finite speed of light
- ca 1030 - Ibn Sina (Avicenna): Concept of force
- ca 1050 - al-Biruni: Speed of light is much larger than speed of sound
- ca 1100 - Al-Baghdadi: Theory of motion with distinction between velocity and acceleration
^{ [6] }

- 1610 - Galileo Galilei uses the telescope, invented previously in the Netherlands, to discover the Galilean moons of Jupiter
- 1609, 1619 - Kepler: Kepler's laws of planetary motion
- 1613 - Galileo Galilei: Inertia
- 1621 - Willebrord Snellius: Snell's law
- 1632 - Galileo Galilei: The Galilean principle (the laws of motion are the same in all inertial frames)
- 1660 - Blaise Pascal: Pascal's law
- 1660 - Robert Hooke: Hooke's law
- 1662 - Robert Boyle: Boyle's law
- 1663 - Otto von Guericke: first Electrostatic generator
- 1676 - Ole Rømer: Rømer's determination of the speed of light traveling from the moons of Jupiter.
- 1678 - Christiaan Huygens mathematical wave theory of light, published in his
*Treatise on Light* - 1687 - Isaac Newton: Newton's laws of motion, and Newton's law of universal gravitation
^{ [7] }

- 1745-46 - Ewald Georg von Kleist and Pieter van Musschenbroek: discovery of the Leyden jar
- 1752 - Benjamin Franklin: Kite experiment
- 1782 - Antoine Lavoisier: Conservation of mass
- 1785 - Charles-Augustin de Coulomb: Coulomb's inverse-square law for electric charges confirmed
^{ [8] }

- 1800 - Alessandro Volta: discovery of voltaic pile
- 1801 - Thomas Young: Wave theory of light
- 1803 - John Dalton: Atomic theory of matter
^{[ citation needed ]} - 1806 - Thomas Young: Kinetic energy
- 1814 - Augustin-Jean Fresnel: Wave theory of light, optical interference
- 1820 - André-Marie Ampère, Jean-Baptiste Biot, and Félix Savart: Evidence for electromagnetic interactions (Biot–Savart law)
- 1824 - Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot: Ideal gas cycle analysis (Carnot cycle), internal combustion engine
- 1826 - Ampère's circuital law
- 1827 - Georg Ohm: Electrical resistance
- 1831 - Michael Faraday: Faraday's law of induction
- 1838 - Michael Faraday: Lines of force
- 1838 - Wilhelm Eduard Weber and Carl Friedrich Gauss: Earth's magnetic field
^{[ clarification needed ]} - 1842-43 - William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin and Julius von Mayer: Conservation of energy
- 1842 - Christian Doppler: Doppler effect
- 1845 - Michael Faraday: Faraday rotation (interaction of light and magnetic field)
- 1847 - Hermann von Helmholtz & James Prescott Joule: Conservation of Energy 2
^{[ clarification needed ]} - 1850-51 - William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin & Rudolf Clausius: Second law of thermodynamics
- 1857-59 - Rudolf Clausius & James Clerk Maxwell: Kinetic theory of gases
- 1861 - Gustav Kirchhoff: Black body
- 1861-62 - Maxwell's equations
- 1863 - Rudolf Clausius: Entropy
- 1864 - James Clerk Maxwell:
*A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field*(electromagnetic radiation) - 1867 - James Clerk Maxwell:
*On the Dynamical Theory of Gases*(kinetic theory of gases) - 1871-89 - Ludwig Boltzmann & Josiah Willard Gibbs: Statistical mechanics (Boltzmann equation, 1872)
- 1873 - Maxwell:
*A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism* - 1884 - Boltzmann derives Stefan radiation law
^{[ citation needed ]} - 1887 - Michelson–Morley experiment
- 1887 - Heinrich Rudolf Hertz: Electromagnetic waves
- 1888 - Johannes Rydberg: Rydberg formula
- 1889, 1892 - Lorentz-FitzGerald contraction
- 1893 - Wilhelm Wien: Wien's displacement law for black-body radiation
- 1895 - Wilhelm Röntgen: X-rays
- 1896 - Henri Becquerel: Radioactivity
- 1896 - Pieter Zeeman: Zeeman effect
- 1897 - J. J. Thomson: Electron discovered

- 1900 - Max Planck: Formula for black-body radiation - the quanta solution to radiation ultraviolet catastrophe
- 1904 - J. J. Thomson's plum pudding model of the atom 1904
- 1905 - Albert Einstein: Special relativity, proposes light quantum (later named photon) to explain the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, Mass–energy equivalence
- 1908 - Hermann Minkowski: Minkowski space
- 1911 - Ernest Rutherford: Discovery of the atomic nucleus (Rutherford model)
- 1911 - Kamerlingh Onnes: Superconductivity
- 1913 - Niels Bohr: Bohr model of the atom
- 1915 - Albert Einstein: General relativity
- 1916 - Schwarzschild metric modeling gravity outside a large sphere
- 1919 - Arthur Eddington:Light bending confirmed - evidence for general relativity
- 1919-1926 - Kaluza–Klein theory proposing unification of gravity and electromagnetism
- 1922 - Alexander Friedmann proposes expanding universe
- 1922-37 - Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker metric cosmological model
- 1923 - Stern–Gerlach experiment
- 1923 - Edwin Hubble: Galaxies discovered
- 1923 - Arthur Compton: Particle nature of photons confirmed by observation of photon momentum
- 1924 - Bose–Einstein statistics
- 1924 - Louis de Broglie: De Broglie wave
- 1925 - Werner Heisenberg: Matrix mechanics
- 1925-27 - Niels Bohr & Max Planck: Quantum mechanics
- 1925 - Stellar structure understood
^{[ citation needed ]} - 1926 - Fermi-Dirac Statistics
- 1926 - Erwin Schrödinger: Schrödinger Equation
- 1927 - Werner Heisenberg: Uncertainty principle
- 1927 - Georges Lemaître: Big Bang
- 1927 - Paul Dirac: Dirac equation
- 1927 - Max Born: Born rule interpretation of the Schrödinger equation
- 1928 - Paul Dirac proposes the antiparticle
- 1929 - Edwin Hubble: Expansion of the universe confirmed
- 1932 - Carl David Anderson: Antimatter discovered
- 1932 - James Chadwick: Neutron discovered
- 1933 - Ernst Ruska: Invention of the electron microscope
- 1935 - Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar: Chandrasekhar limit for black hole collapse
- 1937 - Muon discovered by Carl David Anderson and Seth Neddermeyer
- 1938 - Pyotr Kapitsa: Superfluidity discovered
- 1938 - Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner and Fritz Strassmann Nuclear fission discovered
- 1938-39 - Stellar fusion explains energy production in stars
^{[ citation needed ]} - 1939 - Uranium fission discovered
- 1941 - Feynman path integral
- 1944 - Theory of magnetism in 2D: Ising model
- 1947 - C.F. Powell, Giuseppe Occhialini, César Lattes: Pion discovered
- 1948 - Richard Feynman, Shinichiro Tomonaga, Julian Schwinger, Freeman Dyson: Quantum electrodynamics
- 1948 - Invention of the maser and laser by Charles Townes
- 1948 - Feynman diagrams
- 1956 - Electron neutrino discovered
- 1956-57 - Parity violation proved by Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu
- 1957 - BCS theory explaining superconductivity
- 1959-60 - Role of topology in quantum physics predicted and confirmed
^{[ citation needed ]} - 1962 - SU(3) theory of strong interactions
- 1962 - Muon neutrino discovered
- 1963 - Chien-Shiung Wu confirms the conserved vector current theory for weak interactions
- 1963 - Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig: Quarks predicted
- 1964 - Bell's Theorem initiates quantitative study of quantum entanglement
- 1967 - Unification of weak interaction and electromagnetism (electroweak theory)
- 1967 - Solar neutrino problem found
- 1967 - Pulsars (rotating neutron stars) discovered
- 1968 - Experimental evidence for quarks found
- 1968 - Vera Rubin: Dark matter theories
- 1970-73 - Standard Model of elementary particles invented
- 1971 - Helium 3 superfluidity
- 1971-75 - Michael Fisher, Kenneth G. Wilson, and Leo Kadanoff: Renormalization group
- 1972 - Black Hole Entropy
- 1974 - Black hole radiation (Hawking radiation) predicted
- 1974 - Charmed quark discovered
- 1975 - Tau lepton found
- 1977 - Bottom quark found
- 1977 - Anderson localization recognised (Nobel prize in 1977, Philip W. Anderson, Mott, Van Fleck)
- 1980 - Strangeness as a signature of quark-gluon plasma predicted
^{ [9] } - 1980 - Richard Feynman proposes quantum computing
- 1980 - Quantum Hall effect
- 1981 - Alan Guth Theory of cosmic inflation proposed
^{[ dubious – discuss ]} - 1982 - Aspect experiment confirms violations of Bell's inequalities
- 1981 - Fractional quantum Hall effect discovered
- 1983 - Simulated annealing
- 1984 - W and Z bosons directly observed
- 1984 - First laboratory implementation of quantum cryptography
- 1987 - High-temperature superconductivity discovered in 1986, awarded Nobel prize in 1987 (J. Georg Bednorz and K. Alexander Müller)
- 1989-98 - Quantum annealing
- 1993 - Quantum teleportation of unknown states proposed
- 1994 - Shor's algorithm discovered, initiating the serious study of quantum computation
- 1994-97 - Matrix models/M-theory
- 1995 - Wolfgang Ketterle: Bose–Einstein condensate observed
- 1995 - Top quark discovered
- 1995-2000 - Econophysics and Kinetic exchange models of markets
- 1998 - Accelerating expansion of the universe discovered by the Supernova Cosmology Project and the High-Z Supernova Search Team
- 1998 - Atmospheric neutrino oscillation established
- 1999 - Lene Vestergaard Hau: Slow light experimentally demonstrated

- 2000 - Quark-gluon plasma found
^{ [10] } - 2000 - Tau neutrino found
- 2001 - Solar neutrino oscillation observed, resolving the solar neutrino problem
- 2003 - WMAP observations of cosmic microwave background
- 2004 - Isolation and characterization of graphene
- 2007 - Giant magnetoresistance recognized (Nobel prize, Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg)
- 2008 - 16-year study of stellar orbits around Sagittarius_A* provides strong evidence for a supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy
- 2009 -
*Planck*begins observations of cosmic microwave background - 2012 - Higgs boson found by the Compact Muon Solenoid
^{ [11] }and ATLAS^{ [12] }experiments at the Large Hadron Collider - 2015 - Gravitational waves are observed
- 2016 - Topological order - topological phase transitions and order - recognized (Nobel prize, David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz)
- 2019 - First image of a black hole
- 2023 - Experimental evidence of stochastic Gravitational wave background
^{[ citation needed ]} - 2023 - First "image" of the Milky Way in neutrinos instead of light

In physics, **electromagnetism** is an interaction that occurs between particles with electric charge via electromagnetic fields. The electromagnetic force is one of the four fundamental forces of nature. It is the dominant force in the interactions of atoms and molecules. Electromagnetism can be thought of as a combination of electrostatics and magnetism, two distinct but closely intertwined phenomena. Electromagnetic forces occur between any two charged particles, causing an attraction between particles with opposite charges and repulsion between particles with the same charge, while magnetism is an interaction that occurs exclusively between charged particles in relative motion. These two effects combine to create electromagnetic fields in the vicinity of charged particles, which can accelerate other charged particles via the Lorentz force. At high energy, the weak force and electromagnetic force are unified as a single electroweak force.

In physics, the **fundamental interactions** or **fundamental forces** are the interactions that do not appear to be reducible to more basic interactions. There are four fundamental interactions known to exist:

In particle physics, an **elementary particle** or **fundamental particle** is a subatomic particle that is not composed of other particles. The Standard Model presently recognizes seventeen distinct particles—twelve fermions and five bosons. As a consequence of flavor and color combinations and antimatter, the fermions and bosons are known to have 48 and 13 variations, respectively. Among the 61 elementary particles embraced by the Standard Model number electrons and other leptons, quarks, and the fundamental bosons. Subatomic particles such as protons or neutrons, which contain two or more elementary particles, are known as composite particles.

Physics is a branch of science whose primary objects of study are matter and energy. Discoveries of physics find applications throughout the natural sciences and in technology. Physics today may be divided loosely into classical physics and modern physics.

**Physics** is the natural science of matter, involving the study of matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, with its main goal being to understand how the universe behaves. A scientist who specializes in the field of physics is called a physicist.

**Particle physics** or **high energy physics** is the study of fundamental particles and forces that constitute matter and radiation. The fundamental particles in the universe are classified in the Standard Model as fermions and bosons. There are three generations of fermions, although ordinary matter is made only from the first fermion generation. The first generation consists of up and down quarks which form protons and neutrons, and electrons and electron neutrinos. The three fundamental interactions known to be mediated by bosons are electromagnetism, the weak interaction, and the strong interaction.

A **photon** is an elementary particle that is a quantum of the electromagnetic field, including electromagnetic radiation such as light and radio waves, and the force carrier for the electromagnetic force. Photons are massless, so they always move at the speed of light in vacuum, 299792458 m/s. The photon belongs to the class of boson particles.

The **Standard Model** of particle physics is the theory describing three of the four known fundamental forces in the universe and classifying all known elementary particles. It was developed in stages throughout the latter half of the 20th century, through the work of many scientists worldwide, with the current formulation being finalized in the mid-1970s upon experimental confirmation of the existence of quarks. Since then, proof of the top quark (1995), the tau neutrino (2000), and the Higgs boson (2012) have added further credence to the Standard Model. In addition, the Standard Model has predicted various properties of weak neutral currents and the W and Z bosons with great accuracy.

A timeline of atomic and subatomic physics.

* A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes* is a book on theoretical cosmology by English physicist Stephen Hawking. It was first published in 1988. Hawking wrote the book for readers who had no prior knowledge of physics.

In physics, a **subatomic particle** is a particle smaller than an atom. According to the Standard Model of particle physics, a subatomic particle can be either a composite particle, which is composed of other particles, or an elementary particle, which is not composed of other particles. Particle physics and nuclear physics study these particles and how they interact. Most force carrying particles like photons or gluons are called bosons and, although they have discrete quanta of energy, do not have rest mass or discrete diameters and are unlike the former particles that have rest mass and cannot overlap or combine which are called fermions.

This article describes the mathematics of the **Standard Model** of particle physics, a gauge quantum field theory containing the internal symmetries of the unitary product group SU(3) × SU(2) × U(1). The theory is commonly viewed as describing the fundamental set of particles – the leptons, quarks, gauge bosons and the Higgs boson.

In particle physics, the **history of quantum field theory** starts with its creation by Paul Dirac, when he attempted to quantize the electromagnetic field in the late 1920s. Heisenberg was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the creation of quantum mechanics". Major advances in the theory were made in the 1940s and 1950s, leading to the introduction of renormalized quantum electrodynamics (QED). QED was so successful and accurately predictive that efforts were made to apply the same basic concepts for the other forces of nature. By the late 1970s, these efforts successfully utilized gauge theory in the strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force, producing the modern Standard Model of particle physics.

**Quantum mechanics** is the study of matter and its interactions with energy on the scale of atomic and subatomic particles. By contrast, classical physics explains matter and energy only on a scale familiar to human experience, including the behavior of astronomical bodies such as the moon. Classical physics is still used in much of modern science and technology. However, towards the end of the 19th century, scientists discovered phenomena in both the large (macro) and the small (micro) worlds that classical physics could not explain. The desire to resolve inconsistencies between observed phenomena and classical theory led to a revolution in physics, a shift in the original scientific paradigm: the development of quantum mechanics.

The **timeline of particle physics** lists the sequence of particle physics theories and discoveries in chronological order. The most modern developments follow the scientific development of the discipline of particle physics.

Physics is a scientific discipline that seeks to construct and experimentally test theories of the physical universe. These theories vary in their scope and can be organized into several distinct branches, which are outlined in this article.

In physics, a **field** is a physical quantity, represented by a scalar, vector, or tensor, that has a value for each point in space and time. For example, on a weather map, the surface temperature is described by assigning a number to each point on the map; the temperature can be considered at a certain point in time or over some interval of time, to study the dynamics of temperature change. A surface wind map, assigning an arrow to each point on a map that describes the wind speed and direction at that point, is an example of a vector field, i.e. a 1-dimensional (rank-1) tensor field. Field theories, mathematical descriptions of how field values change in space and time, are ubiquitous in physics. For instance, the electric field is another rank-1 tensor field, while electrodynamics can be formulated in terms of two interacting vector fields at each point in spacetime, or as a single-rank 2-tensor field.

The idea that matter consists of smaller particles and that there exists a limited number of sorts of primary, smallest particles in nature has existed in natural philosophy at least since the 6th century BC. Such ideas gained physical credibility beginning in the 19th century, but the concept of "elementary particle" underwent some changes in its meaning: notably, modern physics no longer deems elementary particles indestructible. Even elementary particles can decay or collide destructively; they can cease to exist and create (other) particles in result.

- ↑ Rovelli, Carlo (2023).
*Anaximander and the Nature of Science*. Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0-241-63504-9. - ↑ Rovelli, Carlo (2015). "Aristotle's Physics: A Physicist's Look".
*Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (1):23--40*. arXiv: 1312.4057v2 . doi:10.1017/apa.2014.11. - ↑ Russell, Bertrand —
*History of Western Philosophy*(2004) – p. 215 - ↑ Van der Waerden, B. L. (1987), "The Heliocentric System in Greek, Persian and Hindu Astronomy",
*Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences*,**500**: 528, Bibcode:1987NYASA.500..525V, doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1987.tb37224.x - ↑ Marchant, Jo (2022-10-18). "First known map of night sky found hidden in Medieval parchment".
*Nature*.**610**(7933): 613–614. Bibcode:2022Natur.610..613M. doi:10.1038/d41586-022-03296-1. PMID 36258126. S2CID 252994351. - ↑ Pines, Shlomo (1986),
*Studies in Arabic versions of Greek texts and in mediaeval science*, vol. 2, Brill Publishers, p. 203, ISBN 965-223-626-8 - ↑ American Heritage Dictionary (January 2005).
*The American Heritage Science Dictionary*. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 428. ISBN 978-0-618-45504-1. - ↑ John L. Heilbron (14 February 2003).
*The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science*. Oxford University Press. p. 235. ISBN 978-0-19-974376-6. - ↑ Rafelski, Johann (2020). "Discovery of Quark-Gluon Plasma: Strangeness Diaries".
*The European Physical Journal Special Topics*.**229**(1): 1–140. arXiv: 1911.00831 . Bibcode:2020EPJST.229....1R. doi: 10.1140/epjst/e2019-900263-x . ISSN 1951-6355. - ↑ "New State of Matter created at CERN".
*CERN*. Retrieved 2020-05-22. - ↑ CMS collaboration (2012). "Observation of a new boson at a mass of 125 GeV with the CMS experiment at the LHC".
*Physics Letters B*.**716**(1): 30–61. arXiv: 1207.7235 . Bibcode:2012PhLB..716...30C. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2012.08.021. - ↑ ATLAS collaboration (2012). "Observation of a New Particle in the Search for the Standard Model Higgs Boson with the ATLAS Detector at the LHC".
*Physics Letters B*.**716**(1): 1–29. arXiv: 1207.7214 . Bibcode:2012PhLB..716....1A. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2012.08.020. S2CID 119169617.

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