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History of Physics and Astronomy

1975 AD to 2010 AD

This section shows the important events in Physics and Astronomy from 1975 AD until 2010 AD. The names of people are highlighted in blue, important people are in bold blue.

1975 Tau lepton - Martin Perl
1976 Supergravity - Ferrara, Freedman, Nieuwenhuizen
1977 Bottom quark - Fermilab
1977 Computer – first successful PC
1977 Rings of Uranus discovered by James Elliot
1978 Charon – part of Pluto double planet system discovered
1979 Gluons - evidence for in hadron jets – DESY
1979 Image of a quasar doubled by gravitational lensing
1979 Jupiter fly-by by Voyagers 1 and 2
1979 Three Mile island nuclear power plant accident
1979 Voyager spacecraft discovers the rings of Jupiter

1980 Quantised Hall effect observed
1980 Voyager space probes pass Saturn
1981 Inflationary early universe – Alan Guth
1981 Non-isotropic cosmic background radiation detected
1981 ZX81 computer released by Sinclair
1982 Space shuttle operational
1982 Superstring theory – Green and Schwarz
1984 Optical disk for the storage of computer data developed
1985 Ozone hole over the Antarctic detected
1986 High temperature superconductivity – Bednorz and Mueller
1986 Return of Halley's comet
1987 Detection of neutrinos from a supernova - Masatoshi Koshibas
1988 Greenhouse Effect named
1989 Cold fusion debate

1990 Hubble Space telescope launched
1992 COBE – fluctuations in cosmic microwave background radiation
1993 Hubble Space telescope repaired
1994 Top quark – Fermilab
1995 First extra solar planet – Mayor and Queloz
1995 Pearl, Reines – Nobel prize for Physics
1997 Cassini space probe launched by NASA to Saturn
1997 Pathfinder – first roving robot on Mars
1999 Cassini passes 600 km from Venus
1999 Total solar eclipse observed from parts of Britain

2000 Alferov and Kroemer, Kilby - Nobel prize for Physics
2001 Russian space station Mir burns up on return to Earth
2002 Riccardo Giaconni – Nobel prize for Physics – cosmic X ray sources
2003 Beagle 2 spacecraft mission to land on Mars – contact lost
2003 Concorde – last flight 24th October
2003 Ion drive spacecraft launched to the Moon
2003 LCD televisions available in Britain
2003 Mars comes closer to Earth than it will be for 60 000 years
2003 Spaceflight – Chinese launch manned orbital spacecraft
2003 Concorde – last flight 24th October
2003 American spacecraft lands on Mars
2004 Transit of Venus
2005 Huyghens probe launched from Cassini space craft lands safely on Titan
2006 New Horizons mission to Pluto launched on January 19th at 19:00 UT
2006 Solar System includes twelve planets – August
2007 'True' planets reduced to eight. Pluto now a minor planet.
2007 Albert Fert, Peter Grόnberg – Nobel prize for Physics
2008 NASA Pheonix probe lands safely on Mars (May 23th)
2008 Yoichiro Nambu, Makoto Kobayashi, Toshihide Maskawa – Nobel prize for Physics
2009 Charles K. Kao, Willard S. Boyle, George E. Smith – Nobel prize for Physics
2010 Astronomers discover an 'Earth like' planet orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 581 in Libra
2010 Astronomers discover most distant galaxy UDFy-38135539 - 13.1 billion light years away
© Keith Gibbs 2010