Physics in History

Historical Events

  • 1900-12-14 Birth of Quantum Physics: German Physicist Max Planck presents a theoretical derivation of his black-body radiation law

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1901-12-10 First Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Wilhelm Röntgen for his discovery of X-rays

Physicist and Nobel Laureate Wilhelm Röntgen
Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Wilhelm Röntgen

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1903-12-10 Nobel Prize for physics awarded to Pierre and Marie Curie

Physicist Marie Curie
Physicist
Marie Curie

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1905-09-27 The physics journal Annalen der Physik publishes Albert Einstein's paper "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?", introducing the equation E=mc².

Theoretical Physicist Albert Einstein
Theoretical Physicist
Albert Einstein

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1910-12-10 Dutch Physicist Johannes van der Waals wins the Nobel Prize for physics

Physicist/Nobel Laureate Johannes van der Waals
Physicist/Nobel Laureate
Johannes van der Waals
  • 1913-12-10 Dutch scientist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes receives Nobel prize for physics
  • 1922-12-10 Nobel prizes awarded to Fridtjof Nansen (Peace), Niels Bohr (Physics) and Francis William Aston (Chemistry)
  • 1937-11-11 Nobel prize for physics awarded to C J Davisson & GP Thomson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1938-12-10 Italian scientist Enrico Fermi receives the Nobel Prize for Physics (work on reduced radioactivity)

Father of the Atomic Bomb Enrico Fermi
Father of the Atomic Bomb
Enrico Fermi
  • 1939-11-09 Nobel for physics awarded to Ernest O Lawrence (cyclotron)
  • 1945-05-03 Allies arrest German physicist Werner Heisenberg
  • 1951-03-25 E Purcell & EM Ewen detect 21-cm radiation at Harvard physics lab
  • 1953-11-05 Nobel prize for physics awarded to Frederik Zernicke
  • 1954-11-03 Nobel for physics awarded to Max Born & Walter Bothe
  • 1956-11-01 Nobel for physics awarded to Shockley, Brattain & Bardeen

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1959-12-11 Emilio G. Segrè publishes his discovery of the antiproton, a sub-atomic antiparticle for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1959

Physicist and Nobel Laureate Emilio G. Segrè
Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Emilio G. Segrè
  • 1960-07-20 The head of the Physics Department at the Israel Institute of Technology, Kurt Sitte, is arrested for espionage.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1961-12-10 Robert Hofstadter and Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer win the Nobel Prize in Physics for their pioneering studies of electron scattering in atomic nuclei and discoveries concerning the structure of the nucleon

  • 1967-10-18 Nobel prize for physics awarded to Hans A Bethe
  • 1968-10-30 Nobel prize for physics awarded to Luis Alvarez (bubble chamber)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1981-10-19 Nicolaas Bloembergen & Arthur Schawlow win Nobel Prize for Physics (laser)

  • 1988-10-19 3 Americans win Nobel in physics; 3 W Germans win chemistry Nobel
  • 1991-11-01 Three faculty, and one staff member of the department of physics and astronomy, were killed, along with one administrator, when physics graduate student Gang Lu went on a shooting rampage at the University of Iowa.
  • 1993-10-13 Nobel prize for physics awarded to Russel Hulse & Joseph Taylor
  • 2004-02-13 The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics discovers the universe's largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093.
  • 2012-10-09 Serge Haroche and David Wineland win the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics for work on quantum optics

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2012-12-11 British physicist, Stephen Hawking, wins the $3 million Fundamental Physics Prize, the most lucrative academic prize in the world

Physicist Stephen Hawking
Physicist
Stephen Hawking
  • 2013-10-08 Peter Higgs and François Englert win the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on the origin of the mass of subatomic particles
  • 2014-10-07 Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura win the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing blue light emitting diodes
  • 2015-10-06 Nobel prize for Physics awarded to Takaaki Kajita (Japan) and Arthur McDonald (Canada) for work on neutrinos

Famous Birthdays

  • 1858-04-23 Max Planck, German physicist (Planck Constant, Nobel 1918) father of Quantum Physics
  • 1862-03-04 Robert Emden, Swiss geo/astro physics (Emden-polytroop)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1871-08-30 Ernest Rutherford [1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson], New Zealand physicist and father of nuclear physics (Nobel 1908), born in Brightwater, New Zealand (d. 1937)

  • 1879-02-06 Carl Ramsauer, professor of physics and a research physicist (Ramsauer-Townsend effect), born in Berlin, Germany
  • 1882-10-05 Giorgio Abetti, Italian astronomer (Solar physics)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1885-10-07 Niels Bohr, Danish physicist, expanded quantum physics (Nobel Prize 1922), born in Copenhagen (d. 1962)

Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Niels Bohr
Nobel Prize Winning Physicist
Niels Bohr

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1905-09-03 Carl David Anderson, American physicist (1936 Nobel Prize for physics), born in NYC, New York (d. 1991)

Nobel Laureat Physicist Carl David Anderson
Nobel Laureat Physicist
Carl David Anderson

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1921-05-05 Arthur Leonard Schawlow, American physicist, shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics for his pioneering work with lasers, born in Mount Vernon, New York (d. 1999)

  • 1924-08-01 Georges Charpak, Polish-French Physicist who invented and developed subatomic particle detectors (Nobel Prize for Physics in 1992), born in Paris, France
  • 1961-11-10 Rudolf Grimm, Austrian physics professor

Famous Deaths


Person of interestPerson of Interest

1934-07-04 Marie Skłodowska-Curie, French-Polish Physicist/Chemist, 1st woman to win Nobel Prize (1903, 1911) dies at 66 of radiation poisoning

Physicist Marie Curie
Physicist
Marie Curie
  • 1940-10-08 Robert Emden, Swiss geo/astro physics (Gaskugeln), dies at 78
  • 1964-05-30 Leo Szilard, Hungarians/US nuclear physicst, dies at 66
  • 1968-10-27 Lise Meitner, Austria/Swedish physics (protactinium), dies at 89
  • 1984-10-14 Martin Ryle, English radio astronomer, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics (b. 1918)
  • 1995-01-01 Eugene Wigner, physicist (Nobel prize for physics-1963), dies at 92
  • 2002-01-08 Alexander Prochorow, Nobel Prize in Physics laureate (b. 1916)