Timeline of atomic and subatomic physics

A timeline of atomic and subatomic physics.

Early beginnings

  • 430 BCE[1] Democritus speculates about fundamental indivisible particles—calls them "atoms"

The beginning of chemistry

The age of quantum mechanics

The formation and successes of the Standard Model

Quantum field theories beyond the Standard Model

See also


  1. ^ Teresi, Dick (2010). Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science. Simon and Schuster. pp. 213–214. ISBN 978-1-4391-2860-2.
  2. ^ Jammer, Max (1966), The conceptual development of quantum mechanics, New York: McGraw-Hill, OCLC 534562
  3. ^ Tivel, David E. (September 2012). Evolution: The Universe, Life, Cultures, Ethnicity, Religion, Science, and Technology. Dorrance Publishing. ISBN 9781434929747.
  4. ^ Gilbert N. Lewis. Letter to the editor of Nature (Vol. 118, Part 2, December 18, 1926, pp. 874–875).
  5. ^ The origin of the word "photon"
  6. ^ The Davisson–Germer experiment, which demonstrates the wave nature of the electron
  7. ^ A. Abragam and B. Bleaney. 1970. Electron Parmagnetic Resonance of Transition Ions, Oxford University Press: Oxford, U.K., p. 911
  8. ^ Feynman, R.P. (2006) [1985]. QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-12575-9.
  9. ^ Richard Feynman; QED. Princeton University Press: Princeton, (1982)
  10. ^ Richard Feynman; Lecture Notes in Physics. Princeton University Press: Princeton, (1986)
  11. ^ Feynman, R.P. (2001) [1964]. The Character of Physical Law. MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-56003-8.
  12. ^ Feynman, R.P. (2006) [1985]. QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-12575-9.
  13. ^ Schweber, Silvan S. ; Q.E.D. and the men who made it: Dyson, Feynman, Schwinger, and Tomonaga, Princeton University Press (1994) ISBN 0-691-03327-7
  14. ^ Schwinger, Julian ; Selected Papers on Quantum Electrodynamics, Dover Publications, Inc. (1958) ISBN 0-486-60444-6
  15. ^ *Kleinert, H. (2008). Multivalued Fields in Condensed Matter, Electrodynamics, and Gravitation (PDF). World Scientific. ISBN 978-981-279-170-2.
  16. ^ Yndurain, Francisco Jose ; Quantum Chromodynamics: An Introduction to the Theory of Quarks and Gluons, Springer Verlag, New York, 1983. ISBN 0-387-11752-0
  17. ^ a b Frank Wilczek (1999) "Quantum field theory", Reviews of Modern Physics 71: S83–S95. Also doi=10.1103/Rev. Mod. Phys. 71.
  18. ^ Weinberg, Steven ; The Quantum Theory of Fields: Foundations (vol. I), Cambridge University Press (1995) ISBN 0-521-55001-7. The first chapter (pp. 1–40) of Weinberg's monumental treatise gives a brief history of Q.F.T., pp. 608.
  19. ^ a b Weinberg, Steven; The Quantum Theory of Fields: Modern Applications (vol. II), Cambridge University Press:Cambridge, U.K. (1996) ISBN 0-521-55001-7, pp. 489.
  20. ^ * Gerard 't Hooft (2007) "The Conceptual Basis of Quantum Field Theory" in Butterfield, J., and John Earman, eds., Philosophy of Physics, Part A. Elsevier: 661-730.
  21. ^ Pais, Abraham ; Inward Bound: Of Matter & Forces in the Physical World, Oxford University Press (1986) ISBN 0-19-851997-4 Written by a former Einstein assistant at Princeton, this is a beautiful detailed history of modern fundamental physics, from 1895 (discovery of X-rays) to 1983 (discovery of vectors bosons at C.E.R.N.)
  22. ^ "Press Release: The 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry". 12 October 1999. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  23. ^ Weinberg, Steven; The Quantum Theory of Fields: Supersymmetry (vol. III), Cambridge University Press:Cambridge, U.K. (2000) ISBN 0-521-55002-5, pp. 419.
  24. ^ Leonid Vainerman, editor. 2003. Locally Compact Quantum Groups and Groupoids. Proceed. Theor. Phys. Strassbourg in 2002, Walter de Gruyter: Berlin and New York

External links


An atom is the smallest constituent unit of ordinary matter that has the properties of a chemical element. Every solid, liquid, gas, and plasma is composed of neutral or ionized atoms. Atoms are extremely small; typical sizes are around 100 picometers (a ten-billionth of a meter, in the short scale).

Atoms are small enough that attempting to predict their behavior using classical physics – as if they were billiard balls, for example – gives noticeably incorrect predictions due to quantum effects. Through the development of physics, atomic models have incorporated quantum principles to better explain and predict this behavior.

Every atom is composed of a nucleus and one or more electrons bound to the nucleus. The nucleus is made of one or more protons and typically a similar number of neutrons. Protons and neutrons are called nucleons. More than 99.94% of an atom's mass is in the nucleus. The protons have a positive electric charge, the electrons have a negative electric charge, and the neutrons have no electric charge. If the number of protons and electrons are equal, that atom is electrically neutral. If an atom has more or fewer electrons than protons, then it has an overall negative or positive charge, respectively, and it is called an ion.

The electrons of an atom are attracted to the protons in an atomic nucleus by this electromagnetic force. The protons and neutrons in the nucleus are attracted to each other by a different force, the nuclear force, which is usually stronger than the electromagnetic force repelling the positively charged protons from one another. Under certain circumstances, the repelling electromagnetic force becomes stronger than the nuclear force, and nucleons can be ejected from the nucleus, leaving behind a different element: nuclear decay resulting in nuclear transmutation.

The number of protons in the nucleus defines to what chemical element the atom belongs: for example, all copper atoms contain 29 protons. The number of neutrons defines the isotope of the element. The number of electrons influences the magnetic properties of an atom. Atoms can attach to one or more other atoms by chemical bonds to form chemical compounds such as molecules. The ability of atoms to associate and dissociate is responsible for most of the physical changes observed in nature and is the subject of the discipline of chemistry.

Ernst Stueckelberg

Ernst Carl Gerlach Stueckelberg (baptised as Johann Melchior Ernst Karl Gerlach Stückelberg, full name after 1911: Baron Ernst Carl Gerlach Stueckelberg von Breidenbach zu Breidenstein und Melsbach; 1 February 1905 – 4 September 1984) was a Swiss mathematician and physicist, regarded as one of the most eminent physicists of the 20th century. Despite making key advances in theoretical physics, including the exchange particle model of fundamental forces, causal S-matrix theory, and the renormalization group, his idiosyncratic style and publication in minor journals led to his work being unrecognized until the mid-1990s.

Experimental physics

Experimental physics is the category of disciplines and sub-disciplines in the field of physics that are concerned with the observation of physical phenomena and experiments. Methods vary from discipline to discipline, from simple experiments and observations, such as the Cavendish experiment, to more complicated ones, such as the Large Hadron Collider.

History of chemistry

The history of chemistry represents a time span from ancient history to the present. By 1000 BC, civilizations used technologies that would eventually form the basis of the various branches of chemistry. Examples include extracting metals from ores, making pottery and glazes, fermenting beer and wine, extracting chemicals from plants for medicine and perfume, rendering fat into soap, making glass,

and making alloys like bronze.

The protoscience of chemistry, alchemy, was unsuccessful in explaining the nature of matter and its transformations. However, by performing experiments and recording the results, alchemists set the stage for modern chemistry. The distinction began to emerge

when a clear differentiation was made between chemistry and alchemy by Robert Boyle in his work The Sceptical Chymist (1661). While both alchemy and chemistry are concerned with matter and its transformations, chemists are seen as applying scientific method to their work.

The history of chemistry is intertwined with the history of thermodynamics, especially through the work of Willard Gibbs.

History of quantum mechanics

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:

where h is a numerical value called Planck's constant.

Then, Albert Einstein in 1905, in order to explain the photoelectric effect previously reported by Heinrich Hertz in 1887, postulated consistently with Max Planck's quantum hypothesis that light itself is made of individual quantum particles, which in 1926 came to be called photons by Gilbert N. Lewis. The photoelectric effect was observed upon shining light of particular wavelengths on certain materials, such as metals, which caused electrons to be ejected from those materials only if the light quantum energy was greater than the work function of the metal's surface.

The phrase "quantum mechanics" was coined (in German, Quantenmechanik) by the group of physicists including Max Born, Werner Heisenberg, and Wolfgang Pauli, at the University of Göttingen in the early 1920s, and was first used in Born's 1924 paper "Zur Quantenmechanik". In the years to follow, this theoretical basis slowly began to be applied to chemical structure, reactivity, and bonding.

History of subatomic physics

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.

Increasingly small particles have been discovered and researched: they include molecules, which are constructed of atoms, that in turn consist of subatomic particles, namely atomic nuclei and electrons. Many more types of subatomic particles have been found. Most such particles (but not electrons) were eventually found to be composed of even smaller particles such as quarks. Particle physics studies these smallest particles and their behaviour under high energies, whereas nuclear physics studies atomic nuclei and their (immediate) constituents: protons and neutrons.

Index of physics articles (T)

The index of physics articles is split into multiple pages due to its size.

To navigate by individual letter use the table of contents below.

Kanada (philosopher)

Kanada (Sanskrit: कणाद, IAST: 'Kaṇāda), also known as Kashyapa, Uluka, Kananda and Kanabhuk, was an ancient Indian natural scientist and philosopher who founded the Vaisheshika school of Indian philosophy that also represents the earliest Indian physics.Estimated to have lived sometime between 6th century to 2nd century BCE, little is known about his life. His traditional name "Kanada" means "atom eater", and he is known for developing the foundations of an atomistic approach to physics and philosophy in the Sanskrit text Vaiśeṣika Sūtra. His text is also known as Kanada Sutras, or Aphorisms of Kanada.The school founded by Kanada attempted to explain the creation and existence of the universe by proposing an atomistic theory, applying logic and realism, and is among one of the earliest known systematic realist ontology in human history. Kanada suggested that everything can be subdivided, but this subdivision cannot go on forever, and there must be smallest entities (parmanu) that cannot be divided, that are eternal, that aggregate in different ways to yield complex substances and bodies with unique identity, a process that involves heat, and this is the basis for all material existence. He used these ideas with the concept of Atman (soul, Self) to develop a non-theistic means to moksha. If viewed from the prism of physics, his ideas imply a clear role for the observer as independent of the system being studied.

Kanada's ideas were influential on other schools of Hinduism, and over its history became closely associated with the Nyaya school of Hindu philosophy.Kanada's system speaks of six properties (padārthas) that are nameable and knowable. He claims that these are sufficient to describe everything in the universe, including observers. These six categories are dravya (substance), guna (quality), karman (motion), samanya (universal), visesa (particular), and samavaya (inherence). There are nine classes of substances (dravya), some of which are atomic, some non-atomic, and others that are all-pervasive.

The ideas of Kanada span a wide range of fields, and they influenced not only philosophy, but possibly scholars in other fields such as Charaka who wrote a medical text that has survived as Charaka Samhita.

List of timelines

This is a list of timelines currently on Wikipedia.

Noncommutative standard model

In theoretical particle physics, the non-commutative Standard Model, mainly due to the French mathematician Alain Connes, uses his noncommutative geometry to devise an extension of the Standard Model to include a modified form of general relativity. This unification implies a few constraints on the parameters of the Standard Model. Under an additional assumption, known as the "big desert" hypothesis, one of these constraints determines the mass of the Higgs boson to be around 170 GeV, comfortably within the range of the Large Hadron Collider. Recent Tevatron experiments exclude a Higgs mass of 158 to 175 GeV at the 95% confidence level and recent experiments at CERN suggest a Higgs mass of between 125 GeV and 127 GeV. However, the previously computed Higgs mass was found to have an error, and more recent calculations are in line with the measured Higgs mass.

Outline of history

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to history:

History – discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented (the beginning of recorded history).

Timeline of physical chemistry

The timeline of physical chemistry lists the sequence of physical chemistry theories and discoveries in chronological order.

Timeline of quantum mechanics

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

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