History of physics


384 – 322 BCE


287 – 212 BCE


90 – 168


965 – 1040 . was an Arab Muslim polymath and philosopher who is widely considered as one of the most influential scientists of all time. Referred to as the father of experimental physics and modern optics and scientific methodology, he made significant contributions to the principles of optics, astronomy, mathematics, meteorology, visual perception and the scientific method. In medieval Europe, he was honored as the "Second Ptolemy" (Ptolemaeus Secundus) or simply called "The Physicist".

Nicolaus Copernicus

19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543. A Renaissance astronomer and the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe.

Galileo Galilei

15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642. According to Stephen Hawking, "Galileo, perhaps more than any other single person, was responsible for the birth of modern science"

Johannes Kepler

December 27, 1571 – November 15, 1630. He formulated laws of planetary motion - 1. The orbit of every planet is an ellipse with the Sun at one of the two foci. 2. A line joining a planet and the Sun sweeps out equal areas during equal intervals of time. 3. The square of the orbital period of a planet is directly proportional to the cube of the semi-major axis of its orbit.

Blaise Pascal


Isaac Newton

25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727.

Henry Cavendish

1731–1810. calculated the weight of the Earth in the Cavendish experiment, determined the universal gravitational constant

Charles-Augustin de Coulomb

1736–1806. namesake of the unit of electric charge: the coulomb (C)

Alessandro Volta

1745–1827 - built the first electric battery.namesake of the unit of electric potential: the volt (V)

Thomas Young

1773–1829 - established the principle of interference of light

Hans Christian Ørsted

1777–1851 - discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields

Georg Ohm

1789–1854. found that there is a direct proportionality between the electric current I and the potential difference (voltage) V applied across a conductor, and that this current is inversely proportional to the resistance R in the circuit, or I = V/R, known as Ohm's law, namesake of the unit of electrical resistance (the ohm)


1791 - 1867

James Clerk Maxwell

13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879

Ludwig Boltzmann

February 20, 1844 – September 5, 1906. While on a summer vacation in Duino, near Trieste, Boltzmann hanged himself during an attack of depression. He is buried in the Viennese Zentralfriedhof; his tombstone bears the inscription S = k \cdot \log W. \, The Boltzmann constant (k or kB) is the physical constant relating energy at the individual particle level with temperature observed at the collective or bulk level. It is the gas constant R divided by the Avogadro constant NA: k = \frac{R}{N_{\rm A}}\, It has the same units as entropy.

Max Planck

April 23, 1858 – October 4, 1947. German physicist who is regarded as the founder of the quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.

Marie Sk?odowska Curie


Albert Einstein


Neils Bohr


Erwin Schrödinger

12 August 1887 – 4 January 1961. Austrian physicist and theoretical biologist who was one of the fathers of quantum mechanics, and is famed for a number of important contributions to physics, especially the Schrödinger equation, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933. In 1935

James Chadwick

1891–1974. discovery of the neutron for which received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1935.

Enrico Fermi

1901–1954 developed first nuclear reactor

Paul Dirac

1902–1984. Among other discoveries, he formulated the Dirac equation, which describes the behaviour of fermions, and predicted the existence of antimatter.

Richard Feynman

May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988. American physicist cheifly known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics and the theory of quantum electrodynamic

Murray Gell-Mann

September 15, 1929. American physicist and polymath who received the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles.