Study Material

21 important events in physics

We explain some of the most important events that have happened in the history of physics.

The fall of an apple stimulated the theory of gravity in Isaac Newton
The fall of an apple stimulated the theory of gravity in Isaac Newton

Some important events in physics were the discovery of the law of falling bodies by Galileo Galilei, the law of universal gravitation, by Isacc Newton, the laws of thermodynamics or the law of relativity, by Albert Einstein.

Physics as a discipline is defined as the natural science that, supported by mathematics, tries to discover how the universe works taking into account four fundamental aspects: matter , time, space and energy. Also, analyze how these four elements are related to each other. Important events in physics

This scientific discipline is considered one of the oldest. Its roots go back to the beginning of civilizations, since astronomy is within its field of studies. Babylonians, Egyptians or Mayans dedicated themselves to observing the universe and trying to extract laws that would explain their behavior.

The first great impulse of the matter was carried out by the ancient Greeks, although most experts consider that the real birth of physics as a scientific discipline occurred in the seventeenth century, with the work of Galileo Galilei. At that time, in addition to the discoveries made, the foundations of the scientific method were laid. Important events in physics

Important events in physics since Galileo

1- Law of falling bodies (1604) – Galileo Galilei Important events in physics

Law of falling bodies (1604) - Galileo Galilei
Law of falling bodies (1604) – Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei is considered the father of classical physics. This Italian astronomer came to the conclusion that all bodies accelerate at the same rate regardless of their size or mass. In addition, he determined that any object had as its natural state rest or uniform motion.

2- Law of universal gravitation (1666) – Isaac Newton

In his work Principia Mathematica , Newton developed the foundations of mechanics and established the laws that explained the force of universal gravity. In 1668, he also created the first reflecting telescope, today known as the Newtonian telescope.

3-Alcohol thermometers (1709) and mercury (1714) – Daniel Fahrenheit

Among other devices, this physicist was the inventor of the alcohol thermometer and the mercury thermometer. Another of his great contributions was the creation of the temperature scale that bears his name and which is still widely used in the United States.

4- Centigrade scale (1742) – Ander Celsius

Celsius was the creator of the temperature scale divided into degrees centigrade or Celsius, a name given in his honor. At first, the Swedish physicist and astronomer set the boiling point of water at 0º Celsius, while the freezing point was at 100º. After his death in 1744, the scale was inverted until it became the one used today.

5-Theory about electricity (mid-18th century) – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin began his experiments with electricity in 1747. One of his conclusions was that storms were an electrical phenomenon. His theory was published before he confirmed his finding with a well-known experiment with a comet, in 1752. His theory of electricity was based on the fact that particles repelled each other.

6- The Atomic Theory (1805) – John Dalton

The British John Dalton showed that matter was made up of small particles called atoms. These, in turn, joined together to form molecules.

7- Law of Conservation of Energy (1847) – James Prescott Joule Important events in physics

The physicist Jamen Prescott Joule was the discoverer of one of the most well-known maxims of matter: “Energy is neither created nor destroyed, it transforms”.

8- Doppler Effect (1842) – Christian Doppler

The Doppler effect is defined as “the apparent frequency change of a wave produced by the relative movement of the source with respect to its observer”. In its sonorous aspect, it explains the sound produced by an ambulance siren, for example, when it is in motion.

9- First Law of Thermodynamics (1824) – Nicolas Léonard Sadi Cornot

The First Law of Thermodynamics states that the energy produced in any system that is subjected to a thermodynamic cycle is going to be the same as the work received by it. It is a demonstration of the maxim that says that energy is transformed and is neither created nor destroyed.

10 – Demonstration of the rotation of the Earth (1851) – León Foucault

Although it was already well known, the French physicist León Foucault demonstrated the rotation of the Earth in an experiment in which he used a pendulum.

11- Statistical definition of entropy (1877) – Ludwig Boltzmann

Statistical entropy is a physical quantity that measures the extent to which an organized system is. Likewise, it responds to the reason why the internal energy increases when the temperature of the system increases.

12- First light bulb (1870) – Thomas Alva Edison

In reality, Edison was not the inventor of the light bulb itself. Instead, he was the one who patented the first carbon filament incandescent bulb with features that allowed it to be used outside the laboratory.

13- Discovery of radioactivity (1896) – Henri Becquerel

The discovery of radioactivity, like so many others, was made almost by chance when Becquerel was studying the fluorescence of uranium and potassium double sulfate.

14 – Discovery of the Electron (1897) – Joseph John Thomson

In addition to discovering the electron, which he called a corpuscle, Thomson showed that it was lighter than the rest of the elements known so far and that it was part of all atoms.

15 – Quantum Mechanics (1900) – Max Planck Important events in physics

Quantum physics is a part of the discipline that is still in development. The first to describe its fundamental principles was Max Planck, who stated that energy is transmitted in packets called quantum and not continuously.

16- Transoceanic transmission and reception of radio waves (1901) – Guillermo Marconi

The study of radio waves took a qualitative leap when Marconi managed to transmit them across the ocean.

17- Motor Propelled Biplane (1903) – Wright Brothers

The human dream of being able to fly had a breakthrough in 1903. That year, Wilmur and Orville Wright became the first to overcome gravity with a motor-powered biplane.

18- Theory of Special Relativity (1905) – Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein is the most influential physicist in contemporary physics
Albert Einstein is the most influential physicist in contemporary physics

Physicist Albert Einstein formulated in 1905 the Theory of Special Relativity, based on the principle of relativity and that light maintains a constant speed. That same year, he also discovered that light could behave like a stream of energetic particles under some circumstances. The physicist called those particles photons.

19- Fission of the atom (1938) – Otto Hahn and Fritz Stranman

The discovery that atoms could be broken was fundamental to the development of atomic weapons and nuclear energy.

20- Microscopic fibers (2004) – Technical University of Liberec

Scientists at the university center discovered in 2004 a technology that made it possible to weave microscopic fibers or nanofibers. This discovery can have great applications in the medical field.

21- Discovery of the Higgs boson (2012) – CERN Important events in physics

This particle is the one that gives mass to all the others. Called the God particle, its discovery allowed the completion of the Standard Model of Particle Physics. Important events in physics

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button