Roger Bacon demonstrates the first high performance carbon fibers, the strongest and stiffest materials by weight known to man.
Neil Bartlett demonstrates the first reaction of a noble gas, previously thought to be inert. Bartlett’s reaction begins the field of noble gas chemistry.
Lavoisier proves the chemical composition of water using the quantitative method; the phlogistic theory is abandonded in favor of modern methods.
English chemist Joseph Priestley discovers that air is a mixture of gases, among them the colorless and highly reactive gas we now know as oxygen.
Charles Martin Hall produces aluminum by electrochemistry, turning aluminum from a semiprecious metal into the familiar material we know today.
The Pittsburgh Reduction Company is formed to employ C. M. Hall’s 1886 invention of producing aluminum by electrochemistry.
H. H. Dow produces bromine from brine. His business marks a breakthrough for American manufacturers over European competitors.
E. W. Morley publishes a new value for the atomic weight of oxygen, setting a lasting standard and providing insight into the atomic theory of matter.
H. Cady and D. McFarland identify helium in a natural gas sample. Before this, helium was thought to be one of the rarest elements on Earth.
Charles James devises new techniques for separating rare earth elements, producing samples desired by laboratories worldwide.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory delivers the first radioisotope produced for peacetime pursuits like cancer therapy and diagnostics.