Timeline of electromagnetism and classical optics

Timeline of electromagnetism and classical optics

* 130 — Claudius Ptolemy tabulates angles of refraction for several media
* 1021 — Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) writes the "Book of Optics", studying lenses, the psychology of vision, the first dark-room camera, and was first to properly describe the mechanisms of eye sight
* 1269 — Pélerin de Maricourt describes magnetic poles and remarks on the nonexistence of isolated magnetic poles
* 1305 — Dietrich von Freiberg uses crystalline spheres and flasks filled with water to study the reflection and refraction in raindrops that leads to primary and secondary rainbows
* 1604 — Johannes Kepler describes how the eye focuses light
* 1604 — Johann Kepler specifies the laws of the rectilinear propagation of light
* 1611 — Marko Dominis discusses the rainbow in "De Radiis Visus et Lucis"
* 1611 — Johannes Kepler discovers total internal reflection, a small-angle refraction law, and thin lens optics,
* 1621 — Willebrord van Roijen Snell states his Snell's law of refraction
* 1630 — Cabaeus finds that there are two types of electric charges
* 1637 — René Descartes quantitatively derives the angles at which primary and secondary rainbows are seen with respect to the angle of the Sun's elevation
* 1657 — Pierre de Fermat introduces the principle of least time into optics
* 1665 — Francesco Maria Grimaldi highlights the phenomenon of diffraction
* 1673 — Ignace Pardies provides a wave explanation for refraction of light
* 1675 — Isaac Newton delivers his theory of light
* 1676 — Olaus Roemer measures the speed of light by observing Jupiter's moons
* 1678 — Christian Huygens states his principle of wavefront sources,
* 1704 — Isaac Newton publishes "Opticks", a corpuscular theory of light and colour
* 1728 — James Bradley discovers the aberration of starlight and uses it to determine that the speed of light is about 283,000 km/s
* 1746 — Leonhard Euler develops the wave theory of light refraction and dispersion
* 1752 — Benjamin Franklin shows that lightning is electricity,
* 1767 — Joseph Priestley proposes an electrical inverse-square law
* 1785 — Charles Coulomb introduces the inverse-square law of electrostatics
* 1786 — Luigi Galvani discovers "animal electricity" and postulates that animal bodies are storehouses of electricity,
* 1800 — William Herschel discovers infrared radiation from the Sun
* 1801 — Johann Ritter discovers ultraviolet radiation from the Sun
* 1801 — Thomas Young demonstrates the wave nature of light and the principle of interference
* 1802 — Gian Domenico Romagnosi notes that a nearby voltaic pile deflects a magnetic needle. His account is largely overlooked.
* 1808 — Etienne-Louis Malus discovers polarization by reflection
* 1809 — Etienne-Louis Malus publishes the law of Malus which predicts the light intensity transmitted by two polarizing sheets
* 1811 — François Jean Dominique Arago discovers that some quartz crystals continuously rotate the electric vector of light
* 1816 — David Brewster discovers stress birefringence
* 1818 — Simeon Poisson predicts the Poisson-Arago bright spot at the center of the shadow of a circular opaque obstacle
* 1818 — François Jean Dominique Arago verifies the existence of the Poisson-Arago bright spot
* 1820 — Hans Christian Ørsted notices that a current in a wire can deflect a compass needle
* 1825 — Augustin Fresnel phenomenologically explains optical activity by introducing circular birefringence
* 1826 — Georg Simon Ohm states his Ohm's law of electrical resistance
* 1831 — Michael Faraday states his law of induction
* 1833 — Heinrich Lenz states that an induced current in a closed conducting loop will appear in such a direction that it opposes the change that produced it (Lenz's law)
* 1845 — Michael Faraday discovers that light propagation in a material can be influenced by external magnetic fields
* 1849 — Hippolyte Fizeau and Jean-Bernard Foucault measure the speed of light to be about 298,000 km/s
* 1852 — George Gabriel Stokes defines the Stokes parameters of polarization
* 1864 — James Clerk Maxwell publishes his papers on a dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field
* 1871 — Lord Rayleigh discusses the blue sky law and sunsets (Rayleigh scattering)
* 1873 — James Clerk Maxwell states that light is an electromagnetic phenomenon
* 1875 — John Kerr discovers the electrically induced birefringence of some liquids
* 1879 — Jožef Stefan discovers the Stefan-Boltzmann radiation law of a black body and uses it to calculate the first sensible value of the temperature of the Sun's surface to be 5700 K
* 1888 — Heinrich Rudolf Hertz discovers radio waves
* 1895 — Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovers X-rays
* 1896 — Arnold Sommerfeld solves the half-plane diffraction problem
* 1905 — Albert Einstein demonstrates that Maxwell's Equations are not required to describe electromagnetic radiation if Special Relativity is taken into account
* 1919 — Albert Michelson makes the first interferometric measurements of stellar diameters at Mount Wilson Observatory (see history of astronomical interferometry)
* 1946 — Martin Ryle and Vonberg build the first two-element astronomical radio interferometer (see history of astronomical interferometry)
* 1953 — Charles H. Townes, James P. Gordon, and Herbert J. Zeiger produce the first maser
* 1956 — R. Hanbury-Brown and R.Q. Twiss complete the correlation interferometer
* 1960 — Theodore Maiman produces the first working laser
* 1999 — M. Henny and others demonstrate the Fermionic Hanbury Brown and Twiss Experiment

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