Chirality Timeline

A Chirality Timeline

~250 B.C. Archimedes of Syracuse
The design of the Archimedean water screw and the study of spiral structure.

1811 Dominque F.J. Arago
Discovery of the rotation of the polarization of light in quartz crystals.

1835 Jean-Baptiste Biot
Discovery of the rotation of the polarization of light in sugar solution.

1848 Louis Pasteur
Paratartaric acid is identified as the stereoisomer of tartaric acid. Pasteur postulates that nature has a chiral asymmetry.

1888 Friedrich Reinitzer
Discovery of the (chiral) blue phase of liquid crystals. Coining of the term "liquid crystals".

1893 Lord Kelvin (William Thomson)
Defines the notion of a chiral object and chirality.

1951 Linus Pauling and Robert B. Corey
Discovery of the alpha-helix in protein.

1953 James D. Watson and Francis Crick
Discovery of the DNA double-helix.

1956 Tsung Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang
Proposal of parity nonconservation to explain the "theta-tau" paradox.

1957 Chien-Shiung Wu
Discovery of parity violation in the beta-decay of 60Co.

1958 Richard P. Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann, and
Robert E. Marshak and E.C. George Sudarshan
Parity violating "vector--axial vector" theory of the weak interaction.

1964 James Cronin and Val L. Fitch
Discovery of CP violation in neutral kaon decays.

1973 Howard C. Berg and Robert A. Anderson
Prediction and confirmation of rotary motion in bacterial flagella.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation National Science Foundation This work is supported, in part, through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation through Grant DMR97-32963.

© 2001, Randall D. Kamien