Timeline of Chemistry - 20th Century

20th Century

1903
Mikhail Semyonovich Tsvet invents chromatography, an important analytic technique.
1904
Hantaro Nagaoka proposes an early nuclear model of the atom, where electrons orbit a dense massive nucleus.
1905
Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch develop the Haber process for making ammonia from its elements, a milestone in industrial chemistry with deep consequences in agriculture.
1905
Albert Einstein explains Brownian motion in a way that definitively proves atomic theory.
1907
Leo Hendrik Baekeland invents bakelite, one of the first commercially successful plastics.
1909
Robert Millikan measures the charge of individual electrons with unprecedented accuracy through the oil drop experiment, confirming that all electrons have the same charge and mass.
1909
S. P. L. Sørensen invents the pH concept and develops methods for measuring acidity.
1911
Antonius Van den Broek proposes the idea that the elements on the periodic table are more properly organized by positive nuclear charge rather than atomic weight.
1911
The first Solvay Conference is held in Brussels, bringing together most of the most prominent scientists of the day. Conferences in physics and chemistry continue to be held periodically to this day.
1911
Ernest Rutherford, Hans Geiger, and Ernest Marsden perform the gold foil experiment, which proves the nuclear model of the atom, with a small, dense, positive nucleus surrounded by a diffuse electron cloud.
1912
William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg propose Bragg's law and establish the field of X-ray crystallography, an important tool for elucidating the crystal structure of substances.
1912
Peter Debye develops the concept of molecular dipole to describe asymmetric charge distribution in some molecules.
1913
Niels Bohr introduces concepts of quantum mechanics to atomic structure by proposing what is now known as the Bohr model of the atom, where electrons exist only in strictly defined orbitals.
1913
Henry Moseley, working from Van den Broek's earlier idea, introduces concept of atomic number to fix inadequacies of Mendeleev's periodic table, which had been based on atomic weight.
1913
Frederick Soddy proposes the concept of isotopes, that elements with the same chemical properties may have differing atomic weights.
1913
J. J. Thomson expanding on the work of Wien, shows that charged subatomic particles can be separated by their mass-to-charge ratio, a technique known as mass spectrometry.
1916
Gilbert N. Lewis publishes "The Atom and the Molecule", the foundation of valence bond theory.
1921
Otto Stern and Walther Gerlach establish concept of quantum mechanical spin in subatomic particles.
1923
Gilbert N. Lewis and Merle Randall publish Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances, first modern treatise on chemical thermodynamics.
1923
Gilbert N. Lewis develops the electron pair theory of acid/base reactions.
1924
Louis de Broglie introduces the wave-model of atomic structure, based on the ideas of wave-particle duality.
1925
Wolfgang Pauli develops the exclusion principle, which states that no two electrons around a single nucleus may have the same quantum state, as described by four quantum numbers.
1926
Erwin Schrödinger proposes the Schrödinger equation, which provides a mathematical basis for the wave model of atomic structure.
1927
Werner Heisenberg develops the uncertainty principle which, among other things, explains the mechanics of electron motion around the nucleus.
1927
Fritz London and Walter Heitler apply quantum mechanics to explain covalent bonding in the hydrogen molecule, which marked the birth of quantum chemistry.
1929
Linus Pauling publishes Pauling's rules, which are key principles for the use of X-ray crystallography to deduce molecular structure.
1931
Erich Hückel proposes Hückel's rule, which explains when a planar ring molecule will have aromatic properties.
1931
Harold Urey discovers deuterium by fractionally distilling liquid hydrogen.
1932
James Chadwick discovers the neutron.
1932–1934
Linus Pauling and Robert Mulliken quantify electronegativity, devising the scales that now bear their names.
1935
Wallace Carothers leads a team of chemists at DuPont who invent nylon, one of the most commercially successful synthetic polymers in history.
1937
Carlo Perrier and Emilio Segrè perform the first confirmed synthesis of technetium-97, the first artificially produced element, filling a gap in the periodic table. Though disputed, the element may have been synthesized as early as 1925 by Walter Noddack and others.
1937
Eugene Houdry develops a method of industrial scale catalytic cracking of petroleum, leading to the development of the first modern oil refinery.
1937
Pyotr Kapitsa, John Allen and Don Misener produce supercooled helium-4, the first zero-viscosity superfluid, a substance that displays quantum mechanical properties on a macroscopic scale.
1938
Otto Hahn discovers the process of nuclear fission in uranium and thorium.
1939
Linus Pauling publishes The Nature of the Chemical Bond, a compilation of a decades worth of work on chemical bonding. It is one of the most important modern chemical texts. It explains hybridization theory, covalent bonding and ionic bonding as explained through electronegativity, and resonance as a means to explain, among other things, the structure of benzene.
1940
Edwin McMillan and Philip H. Abelson identify neptunium, the lightest and first synthesized transuranium element, found in the products of uranium fission. McMillan would found a lab at Berkeley that would be involved in the discovery of many new elements and isotopes.
1941
Glenn T. Seaborg takes over McMillan's work creating new atomic nuclei. Pioneers method of neutron capture and later through other nuclear reactions. Would become the principal or co-discoverer of nine new chemical elements, and dozens of new isotopes of existing elements.
1945
Jacob A. Marinsky, Lawrence E. Glendenin, and Charles D. Coryell perform the first confirmed synthesis of Promethium, filling in the last "gap" in the periodic table.
1945–1946
Felix Bloch and Edward Mills Purcell develop the process of nuclear magnetic resonance, an analytical technique important in elucidating structures of molecules, especially in organic chemistry.
1951
Linus Pauling uses X-ray crystallography to deduce the secondary structure of proteins.
1952
Alan Walsh pioneers the field of atomic absorption spectroscopy, an important quantitative spectroscopy method that allows one to measure specific concentrations of a material in a mixture.
1952
Robert Burns Woodward, Geoffrey Wilkinson, and Ernst Otto Fischer discover the structure of ferrocene, one of the founding discoveries of the field of organometallic chemistry.
1953
James D. Watson and Francis Crick propose the structure of DNA, opening the door to the field of molecular biology.
1957
Jens Skou discovers Na⁺/K⁺-ATPase, the first ion-transporting enzyme.
1958
Max Perutz and John Kendrew use X-ray crystallography to elucidate a protein structure, specifically sperm whale myoglobin.
1962
Neil Bartlett synthesizes xenon hexafluoroplatinate, showing for the first time that the noble gases can form chemical compounds.
1962
George Olah observes carbocations via superacid reactions.
1964
Richard R. Ernst performs experiments that will lead to the development of the technique of Fourier transform NMR. This would greatly increase the sensitivity of the technique, and open the door for magnetic resonance imaging or MRI.
1965
Robert Burns Woodward and Roald Hoffmann propose the Woodward-Hoffmann rules, which use the symmetry of molecular orbitals to explain the stereochemistry of chemical reactions.
1966
Hotosi Nozaki and Ryōji Noyori discovered the first example of asymmetric catalysis (hydrogenation) using a structurally well-defined chiral transition metal complex.
1970
John Pople develops the Gaussian program greatly easing computational chemistry calculations.
1971
Yves Chauvin offered an explanation of the reaction mechanism of olefin metathesis reactions.
1975
Karl Barry Sharpless and group discover a stereoselective oxidation reactions including Sharpless epoxidation, Sharpless asymmetric dihydroxylation, and Sharpless oxyamination.
1985
Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley discover fullerenes, a class of large carbon molecules superficially resembling the geodesic dome designed by architect R. Buckminster Fuller.
1991
Sumio Iijima uses electron microscopy to discover a type of cylindrical fullerene known as a carbon nanotube, though earlier work had been done in the field as early as 1951. This material is an important component in the field of nanotechnology.
1994
First total synthesis of Taxol by Robert A. Holton and his group.
1995
Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman produce the first Bose–Einstein condensate, a substance that displays quantum mechanical properties on the macroscopic scale.

Read more about this topic:  Timeline Of Chemistry

Other articles related to "20th century, century":

Timeline Of New York City Events, Crimes And Disasters - Historic Events, Crimes, or Disasters - 20th Century
... January 8, 1902 – A train collision in the original Park Avenue tunnel kills 17 and injures 38 ... June 15, 1904 – The General Slocum, carrying 1300 to a picnic site on Long Island, catches fire while on the East River alongside Astoria, Queens ...
Jesus Freak - Music - 20th Century
... In 1995, a Christian rock group, DC Talk, released an album titled Jesus Freak ... The song Jesus Freak from that album has since been covered by other Christian bands such as Chasing Victory and Newsboys, which features the former member of DC Talk Michael Tait ...
20th Century - Developments in Brief - World Population
... World population increased from about 1.6 billion people in 1901 to 6.1 billion at the century's end ... Some believe that a significant driver of many of the problems of the 20th century was overpopulation ...
Trujillo, Peru - History - Republican Era - 20th Century
... The latter half of the 20th century saw the expansion of the city due to a combination of rural-urban migration and the consolidation of surrounding districts into the Trujillo metropolitan area ...

Famous quotes containing the word century:

    Take motherhood: nobody ever thought of putting it on a moral pedestal until some brash feminists pointed out, about a century ago, that the pay is lousy and the career ladder nonexistent.
    Barbara Ehrenreich (b. 1941)