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Particle Physics Timeline

For over two thousand years people have thought about the fundamental particles from which all matter is made, starting with the gradual development of atomic theory, followed by a deeper understanding of the quantized atom, leading to the recent theory of the Standard Model.

We invite you to explore this history of particle physics with a focus on the scientists and thinkers who helped shape the field of particle physics. The four sections are arranged chronologically. You can use the index to find more information about a specific person or event.

Earliest times - 1550 AD: The Ancients

1550 - 1900 AD: The Scientific Revolution and Classical Mechanics

1900 - 1964 AD: Quantum Theory

1964 - Present: The Modern View (the Standard Model)

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Sections of the History of Particle Physics were written by the physics class of 1996 of the Mountain Empire High School, Pine Valley, California, under the guidance of Susan Lafo, as indicated.