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.


Middle Ages

16th century

17th century

18th century

19th century

20th century

21st century

See also


  1. ^ Rovelli, Carlo (2023). Anaximander and the Nature of Science. Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0-241-63504-9.
  2. ^ Rovelli, Carlo (2015). "Aristotle's Physics: A Physicist's Look". Journal of the American Philosophical Association. 1: 23–40. arXiv:1312.4057. doi:10.1017/apa.2014.11.
  3. ^ Russell, Bertrand — History of Western Philosophy (2004) – p. 215
  4. ^ Van der Waerden, B. L. (1987), "The Heliocentric System in Greek, Persian and Hindu Astronomy", Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 500 (1): 528, Bibcode:1987NYASA.500..525V, doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1987.tb37224.x, S2CID 222087224
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Hero's Shortest Path". Harvard Natural Sciences Lecture Demonstrations. Harvard University. Retrieved 2024-02-13. Hero's Principle states that light undergoing a reflection from a plane surface will follow the path of least distance
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ American Heritage Dictionary (January 2005). The American Heritage Science Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 428. ISBN 978-0-618-45504-1.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "New State of Matter created at CERN". CERN. Retrieved 2020-05-22.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "Researchers Capture Gravitational-Wave Background with Pulsar "Antennae"". American Physical Society. Physics Magazine. June 29, 2023. Retrieved 2024-02-13. Four PTA collaborations have delivered evidence for a stochastic background of nanohertz gravitational waves
  15. ^ Palivela, Ananya (June 30, 2023). "IceCube creates first image of Milky Way in neutrinos". Retrieved 2024-02-13. IceCube Neutrino Observatory, this array has now allowed astronomers to image the Milky Way — not using light, but particles