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This is a timeline of subatomic particle discoveries, including all particles thus far discovered which appear to be elementary (that is, indivisible) given the best available evidence. It also includes the discovery of composite particles and antiparticles that were of particular historical importance.

More specifically, the inclusion criteria are:

Elementary particles from the Standard Model of particle physics that have so far been observed. The Standard Model is the most comprehensive existing model of particle behavior. All Standard Model particles including the Higgs boson have been verified, and all other observed particles are combinations of two or more Standard Model particles.
Antiparticles which were historically important to the development of particle physics, specifically the positron and antiproton. The discovery of these particles required very different experimental methods from that of their ordinary matter counterparts, and provided evidence that all particles had antiparticles—an idea that is fundamental to quantum field theory, the modern mathematical framework for particle physics. In the case of most subsequent particle discoveries, the particle and its anti-particle were discovered essentially simultaneously.
Composite particles which were the first particle discovered containing a particular elementary constituent, or whose discovery was critical to the understanding of particle physics.

Time Event

Time Event
1800 William Herschel discovers "heat rays"
1801 Johann Wilhelm Ritter made the hallmark observation that invisible rays just beyond the violet end of the visible spectrum were especially effective at lightening silver chloride-soaked paper. He called them "de-oxidizing rays" to emphasize chemical reactivity and to distinguish them from "heat rays" at the other end of the invisible spectrum (both of which were later determined to be photons). The more general term "chemical rays" was adopted shortly thereafter to describe the oxidizing rays, and it remained popular throughout the 19th century. The terms chemical and heat rays were eventually dropped in favor of ultraviolet and infrared radiation, respectively.[1]
1895 Discovery of the ultraviolet radiation below 200 nm, named vacuum ultraviolet (later identified as photons) because it is strongly absorbed by air, by the German physicist Victor Schumann[2]
1895 X-ray produced by Wilhelm Röntgen (later identified as photons)[3]
1897 Electron discovered by J. J. Thomson[4]
1899 Alpha particle discovered by Ernest Rutherford in uranium radiation[5]
1900 Gamma ray (a high-energy photon) discovered by Paul Villard in uranium decay[6]
1911 Atomic nucleus identified by Ernest Rutherford, based on scattering observed by Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden[7]
1919 Proton discovered by Ernest Rutherford[8]
1931 Deuteron discovered by Harold Urey[9][10] (predicted by Rutherford in 1920[11])
1932 Neutron discovered by James Chadwick[12] (predicted by Rutherford in 1920[11])
Main article: Discovery of the neutron
1932 Antielectron (or positron), the first antiparticle, discovered by Carl D. Anderson[13] (proposed by Paul Dirac in 1927 and by Ettore Majorana in 1928)
1937 Muon (or mu lepton) discovered by Seth Neddermeyer, Carl D. Anderson, J.C. Street, and E.C. Stevenson, using cloud chamber measurements of cosmic rays[14] (it was mistaken for the pion until 1947[15])
1947 Pion (or pi meson) discovered by C. F. Powell's group, including César Lattes(first author) and Giuseppe Occhialini (predicted by Hideki Yukawa in 1935[16])
1947 Kaon (or K meson), the first strange particle, discovered by George Dixon Rochester and Clifford Charles Butler[17]
1950
Λ0
(or lambda baryon) discovered during a study of cosmic-ray interactions[18]
1955 Antiproton discovered by Owen Chamberlain, Emilio Segrè, Clyde Wiegand, and Thomas Ypsilantis[19]
1956 Electron neutrino detected by Frederick Reines and Clyde Cowan (proposed by Wolfgang Pauli in 1930 to explain the apparent violation of conservation of energy in beta decay)[20] At the time it was simply referred to as neutrino since there was only one known neutrino.
1962 Muon neutrino (or mu neutrino) shown to be distinct from the electron neutrino by a group headed by Leon Lederman[21]
1964 Xi baryon discovery at Brookhaven National Laboratory[22]
1969 Partons (internal constituents of hadrons) observed in deep inelastic scattering experiments between protons and electrons at SLAC;[23][24] this was eventually associated with the quark model (predicted by Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig in 1964) and thus constitutes the discovery of the up quark, down quark, and strange quark.
1974 J/ψ meson discovered by groups headed by Burton Richter and Samuel Ting, demonstrating the existence of the charm quark[25][26] (proposed by James Bjorken and Sheldon Lee Glashow in 1964[27])
1975 Tau discovered by a group headed by Martin Perl[28]
1977 Upsilon meson discovered at Fermilab, demonstrating the existence of the bottom quark[29] (proposed by Kobayashi and Maskawa in 1973)
1979 Gluon observed indirectly in three-jet events at DESY[30]
1983 W and Z bosons discovered by Carlo Rubbia, Simon van der Meer, and the CERN UA1 collaboration[31][32] (predicted in detail by Sheldon Glashow, Mohammad Abdus Salam, and Steven Weinberg)
1995 Top quark discovered at Fermilab[33][34]
1995 Antihydrogen produced and measured by the LEAR experiment at CERN[35]
2000 Quark-gluon fireball discovered at CERN[36]
2000 Tau neutrino first observed directly at Fermilab[37]
2011 Antihelium-4 produced and measured by the STAR detector; the first particle to be discovered by the experiment
2012 A particle exhibiting most of the predicted characteristics of the Higgs boson discovered by researchers conducting the Compact Muon Solenoid and ATLAS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider[38]

See also

List of baryons
List of mesons
List of particles

References

Hockberger, P. E. (2002). "A history of ultraviolet photobiology for humans, animals and microorganisms". Photochem. Photobiol. 76 (6): 561–579. doi:10.1562/0031-8655(2002)0760561AHOUPF2.0.CO2. ISSN 0031-8655. PMID 12511035. S2CID 222100404.
The ozone layer protects humans from this. Lyman, T. (1914). "Victor Schumann". Astrophysical Journal. 38: 1–4. Bibcode:1914ApJ....39....1L. doi:10.1086/142050.
W.C. Röntgen (1895). "Über ein neue Art von Strahlen. Vorlaufige Mitteilung". Sitzber. Physik. Med. Ges. 137: 1. as translated in A. Stanton (1896). "On a New Kind of Rays". Nature. 53 (1369): 274–276. Bibcode:1896Natur..53R.274.. doi:10.1038/053274b0.
J.J. Thomson (1897). "Cathode Rays". Philosophical Magazine. 44 (269): 293–316. doi:10.1080/14786449708621070.
E. Rutherford (1899). "Uranium Radiation and the Electrical Conduction Produced by it". Philosophical Magazine. 47 (284): 109–163. doi:10.1080/14786449908621245.
P. Villard (1900). "Sur la Réflexion et la Réfraction des Rayons Cathodiques et des Rayons Déviables du Radium". Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences. 130: 1010.
E. Rutherford (1911). "The Scattering of α- and β- Particles by Matter and the Structure of the Atom". Philosophical Magazine. 21 (125): 669–688. doi:10.1080/14786440508637080.
E. Rutherford (1919). "Collision of α Particles with Light Atoms IV. An Anomalous Effect in Nitrogen". Philosophical Magazine. 37: 581.
Brickwedde, Ferdinand G. (1982). "Harold Urey and the discovery of deuterium". Physics Today. 35 (9): 34. Bibcode:1982PhT....35i..34B. doi:10.1063/1.2915259.
Urey, Harold; Brickwedde, F.; Murphy, G. (1932). "A Hydrogen Isotope of Mass 2". Physical Review. 39 (1): 164–165. Bibcode:1932PhRv...39..164U. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.39.164.
E. Rutherford (1920). "Nuclear Constitution of Atoms". Proceedings of the Royal Society A. 97 (686): 374–400. Bibcode:1920RSPSA..97..374R. doi:10.1098/rspa.1920.0040.
J. Chadwick (1932). "Possible Existence of a Neutron". Nature. 129 (3252): 312. Bibcode:1932Natur.129Q.312C. doi:10.1038/129312a0. S2CID 4076465.
C.D. Anderson (1932). "The Apparent Existence of Easily Deflectable Positives". Science. 76 (1967): 238–9. Bibcode:1932Sci....76..238A. doi:10.1126/science.76.1967.238. PMID 17731542.
S.H. Neddermeyer; C.D. Anderson (1937). "Note on the nature of Cosmic-Ray Particles" (PDF). Physical Review. 51 (10): 884–886. Bibcode:1937PhRv...51..884N. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.51.884.
M. Conversi; E. Pancini; O. Piccioni (1947). "On the Disintegration of Negative Muons". Physical Review. 71 (3): 209–210. Bibcode:1947PhRv...71..209C. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.71.209.
H. Yukawa (1935). "On the Interaction of Elementary Particles". Proceedings of the Physico-Mathematical Society of Japan. 17: 48.
G.D. Rochester; C.C. Butler (1947). "Evidence for the Existence of New Unstable Elementary Particles". Nature. 160 (4077): 855–857. Bibcode:1947Natur.160..855R. doi:10.1038/160855a0. PMID 18917296. S2CID 33881752.
The Strange Quark
O. Chamberlain; E. Segrè; C. Wiegand; T. Ypsilantis (1955). "Observation of Antiprotons" (PDF). Physical Review. 100 (3): 947–950. Bibcode:1955PhRv..100..947C. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.100.947.
F. Reines; C.L. Cowan (1956). "The Neutrino". Nature. 178 (4531): 446–449. Bibcode:1956Natur.178..446R. doi:10.1038/178446a0. S2CID 4293703.
G. Danby; et al. (1962). "Observation of High-Energy Neutrino Reactions and the Existence of Two Kinds of Neutrinos". Physical Review Letters. 9 (1): 36–44. Bibcode:1962PhRvL...9...36D. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.9.36.
R. Nave. "The Xi Baryon". Hyperphysics. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
E.D. Bloom; et al. (1969). "High-Energy Inelastic e–p Scattering at 6° and 10°". Physical Review Letters. 23 (16): 930–934. Bibcode:1969PhRvL..23..930B. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.23.930.
M. Breidenbach; et al. (1969). "Observed Behavior of Highly Inelastic Electron-Proton Scattering". Physical Review Letters. 23 (16): 935–939. Bibcode:1969PhRvL..23..935B. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.23.935. OSTI 1444731.
J.J. Aubert; et al. (1974). "Experimental Observation of a Heavy Particle J". Physical Review Letters. 33 (23): 1404–1406. Bibcode:1974PhRvL..33.1404A. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.33.1404.
J.-E. Augustin; et al. (1974). "Discovery of a Narrow Resonance in e+e− Annihilation". Physical Review Letters. 33 (23): 1406–1408. Bibcode:1974PhRvL..33.1406A. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.33.1406.
B.J. Bjørken; S.L. Glashow (1964). "Elementary Particles and SU(4)". Physics Letters. 11 (3): 255–257. Bibcode:1964PhL....11..255B. doi:10.1016/0031-9163(64)90433-0.
M.L. Perl; et al. (1975). "Evidence for Anomalous Lepton Production in e+–e− Annihilation". Physical Review Letters. 35 (22): 1489–1492. Bibcode:1975PhRvL..35.1489P. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.35.1489.
S.W. Herb; et al. (1977). "Observation of a Dimuon Resonance at 9.5 GeV in 400-GeV Proton-Nucleus Collisions". Physical Review Letters. 39 (5): 252–255. Bibcode:1977PhRvL..39..252H. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.39.252. OSTI 1155396.
D.P. Barber; et al. (1979). "Discovery of Three-Jet Events and a Test of Quantum Chromodynamics at PETRA". Physical Review Letters. 43 (12): 830–833. Bibcode:1979PhRvL..43..830B. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.43.830.
J.J. Aubert et al. (European Muon Collaboration) (1983). "The ratio of the nucleon structure functions F2N for iron and deuterium" (PDF). Physics Letters B. 123 (3–4): 275–278. Bibcode:1983PhLB..123..275A. doi:10.1016/0370-2693(83)90437-9.
G. Arnison et al. (UA1 collaboration) (1983). "Experimental observation of lepton pairs of invariant mass around 95 GeV/c2 at the CERN SPS collider". Physics Letters B. 126 (5): 398–410. Bibcode:1983PhLB..126..398A. doi:10.1016/0370-2693(83)90188-0.
F. Abe et al. (CDF collaboration) (1995). "Observation of Top quark production in p–p Collisions with the Collider Detector at Fermilab". Physical Review Letters. 74 (14): 2626–2631. arXiv:hep-ex/9503002. Bibcode:1995PhRvL..74.2626A. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.74.2626. PMID 10057978. S2CID 119451328.
S. Arabuchi et al. (D0 collaboration) (1995). "Observation of the Top Quark". Physical Review Letters. 74 (14): 2632–2637. arXiv:hep-ex/9503003. Bibcode:1995PhRvL..74.2632A. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.74.2632. PMID 10057979. S2CID 42826202.
G. Baur; et al. (1996). "Production of Antihydrogen". Physics Letters B. 368 (3): 251–258. Bibcode:1996PhLB..368..251B. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.38.7538. doi:10.1016/0370-2693(96)00005-6.
"New State of Matter created at CERN". CERN. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
"Physicists Find First Direct Evidence for Tau Neutrino at Fermilab" (Press release). Fermilab. 20 July 2000. Retrieved 20 March 2010.

Boyle, Alan (4 July 2012). "Milestone in Higgs quest: Scientists find new particle". MSNBC. MSNBC. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.

V.V. Ezhela; et al. (1996). Particle Physics: One Hundred Years of Discoveries: An Annotated Chronological Bibliography. Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-1-56396-642-2.

vte

Particles in physics
Elementary
Fermions
Quarks

Up (quark antiquark) Down (quark antiquark) Charm (quark antiquark) Strange (quark antiquark) Top (quark antiquark) Bottom (quark antiquark)

Leptons

Electron Positron Muon Antimuon Tau Antitau Electron neutrino Electron antineutrino Muon neutrino Muon antineutrino Tau neutrino Tau antineutrino

Bosons
Gauge

Photon Gluon W and Z bosons

Scalar

Higgs boson

Ghost fields

Faddeev–Popov ghosts

Hypothetical
Superpartners
Gauginos

Gluino Gravitino Photino

Others

Axino Chargino Higgsino Neutralino Sfermion (Stop squark)

Others

Axion Curvaton Dilaton Dual graviton Graviphoton Graviton Inflaton Leptoquark Magnetic monopole Majoron Majorana fermion Dark photon Planck particle Preon Sterile neutrino Tachyon W′ and Z′ bosons X and Y bosons

Composite
Hadrons
Baryons

Nucleon
Proton Antiproton Neutron Antineutron Delta baryon Lambda baryon Sigma baryon Xi baryon Omega baryon

Mesons

Pion Rho meson Eta and eta prime mesons Phi meson J/psi meson Omega meson Upsilon meson Kaon B meson D meson Quarkonium

Exotic hadrons

Tetraquark Pentaquark

Others

Atomic nuclei Atoms Exotic atoms
Positronium Muonium Tauonium Onia Pionium Superatoms Molecules

Hypothetical
Baryons

Hexaquark Heptaquark Skyrmion

Mesons

Glueball Theta meson T meson

Others

Mesonic molecule Pomeron Diquark R-hadron

Quasiparticles

Anyon Davydov soliton Dropleton Exciton Hole Magnon Phonon Plasmaron Plasmon Polariton Polaron Roton Trion

Lists

Baryons Mesons Particles Quasiparticles Timeline of particle discoveries

Related

History of subatomic physics
timeline Standard Model
mathematical formulation Subatomic particles Particles Antiparticles Nuclear physics Eightfold way
Quark model Exotic matter Massless particle Relativistic particle Virtual particle Wave–particle duality Particle chauvinism

Wikipedia books

Hadronic Matter Particles of the Standard Model Leptons Quarks

Physics Encyclopedia

World

Index

Hellenica World - Scientific Library

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