Historical Milestones in Physics - Page 1 Next Page


Year Description

1600
Gilbert laid the foundation for the sciences of magnetism and electricity.

1643
Torricelli constructed the barometer and produced the Torricelli vacuum.

1646
Guericke invented an air vacuum pump and an electrostatic machine with a sulfur sphere.

1659
Boyle constructed an improved vacuum pump, the machina Boyleana.

1675
Newton built a more efficient electrostatic generator with a rotating glass sphere.

1705
Hauksbee observed glow discharges and many other new and curious phenomenon in vacuum.

1729
Gray distinguished conductors of electricity from nonconductors.

1733
Du Fay discovered two different types of electricity: viterous and resinous electricity.

1745
Kleist constructed the Kleist jar, predecessor of the Leydon jar.

1746
Cuneaus and van Musschenbroek constructed the Leyden jar.

1747
Watson transmitted electricity over long conductors.

1749
Abbe Nollet experimented with the electrical egg and made fundamental observations.

1750
Franklin defined positive and negative electricity.

1760
Canton built a pith electroscope to measure electric quantities.

1785
Morgan possibly produced x-rays in vacuum experiments.

1786
Galvani discovered animal electricity.

1800
Volta constructed the first electric battery, the voltaic pile.

1815
Prout suggested that hydrogen is the fundamental building stone of matter.

1820
Oersted discovered the link between electricity and magnetism.

1820
Ampere formulated mathematically the discovery of Oerested.

1827
Ohm formulated Ohm's law, stating the relationship between electric current, electromotive force, and resistance.

1831
Faraday and Henry discovered electromagnetic induction.

1836
Faraday conducted the first systematic experiments on discharge of electricity through gases at pressures of 0.4 mm Hg.

1836
Sturgeon and Page built the first induction coil (Neeff and Wagner improved it in 1853).

1843
Abria of Bordeaux discovered striations in gas discharge.

1845
Birth of Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen at Lennep, Germany.

1850
Plucker observed green glass fluoroscence opposite the negative electrode in a vacuum tube.

1851
Ruhmkorff of Paris made successful induction coils (demonstrated in London by Faraday in 1855).

1852
W.R. Grove rediscovered striations with an improved piston pump.

1858
Kohlrausch and Lord Kelvin improved electrometers.

1859
J. Gassiot undoubtedly produced cathode rays and magnetic deflection and must have produced x-rays.

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