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This **timeline of theoretical physics** lists important developments in theoretical physics that have either been experimentally confirmed or significantly influence current thinking in modern physics.

- 1609, 1619 - Kepler's laws of planetary motion
- 1632 - The Galilean principle (the laws of motion are the same in all inertial frames)
- 1687 - Isaac Newton: Newton's laws of motion, and Newton's law of universal gravitation
^{ [1] }

- 1782 - Antoine Lavoisier: Conservation of matter
- 1785 - Charles-Augustin de Coulomb: Coulomb's inverse-square law for electric charges confirmed
^{ [2] }

- 1801 - Thomas Young: Wave theory of light
- 1803 - John Dalton: Atomic theory of matter
- 1806 - Young: Kinetic energy
- 1814 - Augustin-Jean Fresnel: Wave theory of light, interference
- 1820 - André-Marie Ampère, Biot, & Savart: Evidence for electromagnetic interactions (Biot–Savart law)
- 1824 - Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot: Ideal gas cycle analysis, internal combustion engine
- 1826 - Ampère's circuital law
- 1827 - Georg Ohm: Electrical resistance, etc.
- 1831 - Faraday's law of induction
- 1838 - Michael Faraday: Lines of force, Fields
- 1838 - Weber: Earth's magnetic field
- 1842-43 - William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin &andJulius von Mayer: Conservation of energy
- 1842 - Kelvin: Doppler effect
- 1845 - Michael Faraday: Faraday Rotation (light and electromagnetic)
- 1847 - Hermann von Helmholtz & James Prescott Joule: Conservation of Energy 2
^{[ clarification needed ]} - 1850-51 - William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin & 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: Dynamic 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 - Gustav Ludwig Hertz: Electromagnetic waves
- 1889, 1892 - Lorentz-FitzGerald contraction
- 1893 - Wilhelm Wien: Radiation law
^{[ citation needed ]} - 1895 - Wilhelm Röntgen: X-rays
- 1896 - Henri Becquerel: Radioactivity
- 1897 - J. J. Thomson: Electron

- 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 the photon to explain the photoelectric effect, and Brownian motion
- 1911 - Ernest Rutherford: Discovery of the atomic nucleus (Rutherford model), Kamerlingh Onnes: Superconductivity & equivalence principle
- 1913 - Niels Bohr: Bohr model of the atom
- 1916 - Einstein: General relativity
- 1916 - Schwarzschild metric modeling gravity outside a large sphere
- 1919 - 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, Matter waves, galaxies & particle nature of photons confirmed
- 1924 - Bose–Einstein statistics
- 1924 - De Broglie wave
- 1925 - Heisenberg Matrix Mechanics
- 1925-27 - Quantum mechanics
- 1925 - Stellar structure understood
- 1926 - Fermi-Dirac Statistics
- 1926 - Schrödinger equation
- 1927 - Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
- 1927 - Georges Lemaître: Big Bang
- 1927 - Dirac equation
- 1927 - Max Born interpretation of the Schrödinger equation
- 1928 - Paul Dirac proposes the antiparticle
- 1929 - Edwin Hubble: Expansion of universe confirmed
- 1932 - Anderson: Antimatter discovered & Chadwick: Neutron discovered
- 1933 - Invention of the electron microscope by Ernst Ruska
- 1935 - Chandrasekhar limit for black hole collapse
- 1937 - Muon discovered by Carl David Anderson and Seth Neddermeyer
- 1938 - Superfluidity discovered & Energy production in stars understood
- 1939 - Uranium fission discovered
- 1941 - Feynman path integral
- 1944 - Theory of magnetism in 2D: Ising model
- 1947 - Pion discovered
- 1948 - Quantum electrodynamics
- 1948 - Invention of the maser and laser by Charles Townes
- 1948 - Feynman diagrams
- 1956 - Electron neutrino discovered
- 1956-57 - Parity found violated
^{[ citation needed ]} - 1957 - Superconductivity explained
^{[ citation needed ]} - 1959-60 - Role of topology in quantum physics predicted and Confirmed
^{[ citation needed ]} - 1962 - SU(3) theory of strong interactions & muon neutrino found
- 1963 - Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig: Quarks predicted
- 1967 - Unification of weak and electromagnetic interactions, Solar neutrino Problem found & Pulsars (neutron stars) discovered
^{[ citation needed ]} - 1968 - Experimental evidence for quarks found
- 1968 - Vera Rubin: Dark matter theories
- 1970-73 - Standard Model of elementary particles invented
- 1971 - Helium 3 Superfluidity
- 1972 - Black Hole Entropy
- 1974 - Black hole radiation (Hawking radiation) predicted, renormalization group & charmed quark found
- 1975 - Tau lepton found
- 1977 - Bottom quark found
- 1980 - Strangeness as a signature of quark-gluon plasma predicted
^{ [3] } - 1980 - Quantum Hall effect
- 1981 - Theory of Cosmic Inflation proposed
^{[ citation needed ]} - 1982 - Fractional quantum Hall effect
- 1994-97 - Matrix models/M-theory
- 1995 - Wolfgang Ketterle: Bose–Einstein condensate found
- 1995 - Top quark found
- 1998 - Accelerating expansion of Universe found
^{[ citation needed ]} - 1999 - Lene Vestergaard Hau: Slow light experimentally demonstrated

- 2000 - Quark-gluon plasma found
^{ [4] } - 2000 - Tau neutrino found
- 2003 - WMAP Observations of cosmic microwave background
- 2012 - Higgs boson found
- 2014 - Gravitational waves detected from Cosmic microwave background radiation

In physics, the **fundamental interactions**, also known as **fundamental forces**, are the interactions that do not appear to be reducible to more basic interactions. There are four fundamental interactions known to exist: the gravitational and electromagnetic interactions, which produce significant long-range forces whose effects can be seen directly in everyday life, and the strong and weak interactions, which produce forces at minuscule, subatomic distances and govern nuclear interactions. Some scientists hypothesize that a fifth force might exist, but these hypotheses remain speculative.

In particle physics, an **elementary particle** or **fundamental particle** is a subatomic particle with no sub structure, i.e. it is not composed of other particles. Particles currently thought to be elementary include the fundamental fermions, which generally are "matter particles" and "antimatter particles", as well as the fundamental bosons, which generally are "force particles" that mediate interactions among fermions. A particle containing two or more elementary particles is called a *composite particle*.

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, since matter and energy are the basic constituents of the natural world. Some other domains of study—more limited in their scope—may be considered branches that have split off from physics to become sciences in their own right. Physics today may be divided loosely into classical physics and modern physics.

A **theory of everything**, **final theory**, **ultimate theory**, or **master theory** is a hypothetical single, all-encompassing, coherent theoretical framework of physics that fully explains and links together all physical aspects of the universe. Finding a TOE is one of the major unsolved problems in physics. String theory and M-theory have been proposed as theories of everything. Over the past few centuries, two theoretical frameworks have been developed that, together, most closely resemble a TOE. These two theories upon which all modern physics rests are general relativity and quantum mechanics. General relativity is a theoretical framework that only focuses on gravity for understanding the universe in regions of both large scale and high mass: stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, etc. On the other hand, quantum mechanics is a theoretical framework that only focuses on three non-gravitational forces for understanding the universe in regions of both small scale and low mass: sub-atomic particles, atoms, molecules, etc. Quantum mechanics successfully implemented the Standard Model that describes the three non-gravitational forces -- strong nuclear, weak nuclear, and electromagnetic force -- as well as all observed elementary particles.

The **Standard Model** of particle physics is the theory describing three of the four known fundamental forces in the universe, as well as classifying all known elementary particles. It was developed in stages throughout the latter half of the 20th century, through the work of many scientists around the world, with the current formulation being finalized in the mid-1970s upon experimental confirmation of the existence of quarks. Since then, confirmation 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 timeline of events related to thermodynamics.

**Mathematical physics** refers to the development of mathematical methods for application to problems in physics. The *Journal of Mathematical Physics* defines the field as "the application of mathematics to problems in physics and the development of mathematical methods suitable for such applications and for the formulation of physical theories".

In the physical sciences, **subatomic particles** are smaller than atoms. They can be composite particles, such as the neutron and proton; or elementary particles, which according to the standard model are not made of other particles. Particle physics and nuclear physics study these particles and how they interact. The concept of a subatomic particle was refined when experiments showed that light could behave like a stream of particles as well as exhibiting wave-like properties. This led to the concept of wave–particle duality to reflect that quantum-scale *particles* behave like both particles and waves. Another concept, the uncertainty principle, states that some of their properties taken together, such as their simultaneous position and momentum, cannot be measured exactly. The wave–particle duality has been shown to apply not only to photons but to more massive particles as well.

In physics, a **unified field theory** (**UFT**) is a type of field theory that allows all that is usually thought of as fundamental forces and elementary particles to be written in terms of a pair of physical and virtual fields. According to the modern discoveries in physics, forces are not transmitted directly between interacting objects, but instead are described and interrupted by intermediary entities called fields.

**Modern physics** is an effort to understand the underlying processes of the interactions with matter utilizing the tools of science and engineering. In general, the term is used to refer to any branch of physics either developed in the early 20th century and onwards, or branches greatly influenced by early 20th century physics.

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.

The **history of quantum mechanics** is a fundamental part of the history of modern physics. Quantum mechanics' history, as it interlaces with the history of quantum chemistry, began essentially with a number of different scientific discoveries: the 1838 discovery of cathode rays by Michael Faraday; the 1859–60 winter statement of the black-body radiation problem by Gustav Kirchhoff; the 1877 suggestion by Ludwig Boltzmann that the energy states of a physical system could be *discrete*; the discovery of the photoelectric effect by Heinrich Hertz in 1887; and the 1900 quantum hypothesis by Max Planck that any energy-radiating atomic system can theoretically be divided into a number of discrete "energy elements" *ε* (epsilon) such that each of these energy elements is proportional to the frequency *ν* with which each of them individually radiate energy, as defined by the following formula:

In quantum mechanics, a **boson** is a particle that follows Bose–Einstein statistics. Bosons make up one of two classes of particles, the other being fermions. The name boson was coined by Paul Dirac to commemorate the contribution of Satyendra Nath Bose, an Indian physicist and professor of physics at University of Calcutta and at University of Dhaka in developing, with Albert Einstein, Bose–Einstein statistics—which theorizes the characteristics of elementary particles.

Physics deals with the combination of matter and energy. It also deals with a wide variety of systems, about which theories have been developed that are used by physicists. In general, theories are experimentally tested numerous times before they are accepted as correct as a description of Nature. For instance, the theory of classical mechanics accurately describes the motion of objects, provided they are much larger than atoms and moving at much less than the speed of light. These "central theories" are important tools for research in more specialized topics, and any physicist, regardless of his or her specialization, is expected to be literate in them.

This **timeline of quantum mechanics** shows the key steps, precursors and contributors to the development of quantum mechanics, quantum field theories and quantum chemistry.

In physics, a **field** is a physical quantity, represented by a number or tensor, that has a value for each point in space-time. For example, on a weather map, the surface temperature is described by assigning a real number to each point on a map; the temperature can be considered at a fixed point in time or over some time interval, to study the dynamics of temperature change. A surface wind map, assigning a vector to each point on a map that describes the wind velocity at that point, would be an example of a 1-dimensional tensor field, i.e. a vector 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, and the full description of electrodynamics can be formulated in terms of two interacting vector fields at each point in space-time, or as a single-rank 2-tensor field theory.

The **Einstein–Maxwell–Dirac equations** (**EMD**) are a classical field theory defined in the setting of general relativity. They are interesting both as a classical PDE system in mathematical relativity, and as a starting point for some work in quantum field theory.

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.

- ↑ 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. doi:10.1140/epjst/e2019-900263-x. ISSN 1951-6355. - ↑ "New State of Matter created at CERN".
*CERN*. Retrieved 2020-05-22.

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