Alhazan (965–1040), an Arab physicist, publishes the 7-volume Book of Optics, in which the pinhole camera and camera obscura are described.
Roger Bacon (1214–92), an English friar based in Paris, outlines the scientific principles of corrective eyeglass lenses (worn by monks and scholars) in his Opus Majus.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) illustrates the first concept of contact lenses.
Gerolamo Cardano (1501–76), an Italian scientist and philosopher, inserts a biconvex lens in his pinhole camera and advances the quality and brightness of camera obscura images.
Italian scholar Giambattista della Porta (1535–1615) publishes first account of using a camera obscura as an aid in drawing.
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), German scholar and astronomer, is first to use the term “camera obscura” in print in his published work on astronomy, Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena.
The earliest written record of a refracting telescope appears in a patent filing attributed to German-Dutch spectacle-maker Hans Lippershey (1570–1619).
Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), Italian astronomer, builds a small telescope with a 1.5”-diameter lens.
Johannes Kepler publishes Dioptrice and describes how improved and higher telescopic magnification could result by using two convex lenses, as opposed to Galileo’s use of concave and convex lenses.
The word “microscope” is first used by German botanist and physician Giovanni Faber (1575-1629).
Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727), English physicist, builds the first practical reflecting telescope.
Newton discovers the composition of light, which leads the way for spectroscopy.
Johannes Hevelius (1611–87), Polish astronomer, builds a 150’-long refracting telescope, hung by ropes from a pole.
American inventor and politician Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) invents bifocal lenses.
Sir John Herschel (1792–1871), English scientist and photographer, builds a 40’-long telescope.
Thomas Wedgwood (1771–1805), an early British photographic experimenter, attempts to produce permanent camera-recorded images on surfaces coated with light-sensitive chemicals. He captures only shadows and silhouettes, which he is unable to preserve permanently.
Nicéphore Niépce (1765–1833), French inventor, captures the first durable, light-fast photograph on the surface of a lithographic stone, but it is destroyed during subsequent experiments.
Nicéphore Niépce succeeds in making the earliest-known surviving photograph from nature, View from the Window at le Gras, which required an exposure of at least eight hours.
Working in France and awaiting a patent for the telegraph, American inventor Samuel Morse (1791–1872) meets French artist Louis Daguerre (1787–1851), who shows him light-sensitive images on metal plates, which Morse calls “one of the beauties of the age.”
British inventor William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–77) counters Daguerre’s claim of inventing photography by exhibiting images of photomicrographic specimens made with his solar microscope at the Royal Institution in London.
François Arago (1786–1853), director of the Paris Observatory, makes the first public announcement of Louis Daguerre’s photographic process at a joint meeting of the Académie des Sciences and the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
Sir John Herschel discovers that the action of hyposulphite of soda fixes photographic images permanently, experiments, makes photographs on glass, and is said to introduce the word “photography” to the public.
John William Draper (1811–82), English-American scientist, makes the first successful photograph of a celestial body, a daguerreotype of the Moon, made with a 5” reflecting telescope during a 20-minute-long exposure.
Alfred François Donné of Chanté Hospital in Paris, a pioneer in microscopy, photographs sections of bones and teeth.
Andreas Ritter von Ettingshausen, a Viennese physicist, produces the first daguerreotype photomicrographs.
Austrian-Hungarian mathematician and physicist Joseph Petzval (1807–91) produces a lens fast enough to take daguerreotype portraits.
H. Fox Talbot publishes the first installment of The Pencil of Nature, the first commercially published book illustrated with photographs.
William Parsons (1800–76), Anglo-Irish astronomer, builds the “Leviathan of Parsonstown,” a reflecting telescope with a 6’-diameter primary lens that leads to the discovery of the first spiral nebulae.
Charles Brooke (1804–79), British surgeon, invents self-recording instruments (including barometers, thermometers, and magnetometers) that use photographic paper to record variations in measurement.
Maria Mitchell (1818–89) becomes famous for spotting a comet through her telescope and is the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1848.
German-born brothers, Philadelphia photographic entrepreneurs Friedrich and Wilhelm Langenheim invent lantern slides that allow for the projection of large images, transforming science and art history education.
David Brewster (1781–1868), Scottish physicist, inventor of the kaleidoscope, and popularizer of science, introduces an improved stereoscope, which leads to the first 3D photography craze.
American inventor J. A. Whipple (1821–99) makes high-quality daguerreotypes of lunar image at Harvard.
First photograph of a star, Vega, is made by American astronomer William Cranch Bond (1789–1859).
Hermann von Helmholtz (1821–94), German physician and physicist, invents the ophthalmoscope, used to examine the human retina.
British psychiatrist, medical doctor Hugh Welsh Diamond (1809–86), a founder of the British Royal Photographic Society, photographs the expressions of people suffering from mental disorders.
The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, the first World’s Fair, is held in London’s Crystal Palace, celebrating technology and featuring displays of photographic images and equipment.
Dr. August Ludwig Busch commissions Prussian daguerrotypist Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski to make an image of a solar eclipse at Russian observatory.
British artist Frederick Scott Archer (1813–57) revolutionizes photography by using collodion, a medical dressing, to make glass plates photosensitive.
First photomicrographs, prepared by J. Delves and S. Highly, are published in a British scientific journal.
First issue of the Journal of the Photographic Society, with a strong interest in scientific photographic discoveries and uses, is published in England.
American daguerreotypist Platt D. Babbitt (1823–79) sets up a pavilion on the American side of Niagara Falls to take and sell images of the natural wonder to tourists.
The Exposition Universelle in Paris (1855) celebrates scientific and technological progress with the largest display of photographs to date on subjects such as astronomy, plant and animal species, races of the world, types of mental and physical illness, and disasters.
The first underwater photograph is taken by Englishman William Thompson, who uses a camera attached to a pole.
The first aerial photograph is taken by French photographer and balloonist Gaspar Felix Tournachon (1820–1910), better known as “Nadar.”
Britain’s Photographic News, a trade journal edited by chemist William Crooke, begins publication.
British astronomer and meteorologist John Waterhouse (1806–79) develops the earliest variable aperture stops for lenses and cameras.
Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831–79), interested in color theory, produces the first three-additive color photographic image.
First reported photograph of a genuine ghost is produced by Boston engraver William Mumler.
In England, William Henry Olley publishes The Wonders of the Microscope Photographically Revealed.
French neurologist Duchenne de Boulogne (1806–75) publishes photographs of induced expressions triggered by electric shock in The Mechanism of Human Facial Expression.
Hermann von Helmholtz publishes first volume of his pioneering work on visual perception, the Handbook of Physiological Optics.
Photographs of wounded Civil War soldiers, made by New York surgeon Reed B. Bontecou, are used to verify their injuries, document treatment, and determine post-war pension payments.
First modern photographic microscope is claimed to have been built by Parisian optician Camille Sébastien Nachet (1799–1881).
Thomas Smillie, appointed the Smithsonian Institution’s first photographer, documents museum specimens and performs chemical experiments for Smithsonian scientific researchers.
American astronomer Charles Young is first to photograph a solar prominence.
British naturalist Charles Darwin (1808–82) publishes The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, one of the first scientific texts to include photographic illustrations.
American physician Henry Draper (1837–82), son of John William Draper, makes the first photograph of the star Vega’s spectrum showing distinct spectral lines.
Camillo Golgi uses silver compounds to develop a method to stain nerve cells in order to make them visible.
The Moon, featuring dramatic photographs by Lewis Rutherfurd, is published.
James Nasmyth and James Carpenter, British astronomers, publish The Moon: Considered as a Planet, a World, and a Satellite, featuring photos of plaster models of the lunar surface believed to be more realistic than obtainable with telescopic photography of the period.
Many nations, including France, Britain, the United States, Russia, and Germany, dispatch astronomers and photographers to document the transit of Venus by recording that planet’s silhouette against the Sun so its position could be measured carefully later.
Swiss chemist Ferdinand Hurter and British chemical engineer V. C. Driffield begin systematic evaluations of the characteristics of various photographic emulsions.
German physician and pioneering microbiologist Robert Koch (1843–1910) publishes the first photographs of bacteria.
In Palo Alto, CA, English-born photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830–1904) uses high-speed stop-motion photography to capture the gait of a horse in motion.
Jean-Martin Charcot (1825–93), a French neurologist, incorporates photographic imaging in his work on hysteria at Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris.
Using the new dry-plate photographic process, Henry Draper makes a 51-minute exposure of the Orion Nebula.
American inventor Frederick Ives (1856–1937) patents a half-tone printing process that enables photographs to be more easily printed with texts in in books, newspapers, and magazines.
French scientist Étienne-Jules Marey (1830–1904) makes the first chronophotographs, which combine multiple movements into a single image.
William Nicholson Jennings (1860–1946), an American commercial photographer, is the first to successfully photograph lightning.
First photographs of individual snowflakes are made by Vermont amateur photographer Wilson A. Bentley.
First photographs of human retina are made by W. T. Jackman and J. D. Webster in London.
The first photograph of a supersonic flying bullet is taken by Austrian physicist Peter Salcher.
Eadweard Muybridge publishes the massive 781-image photographic collection Animal Locomotion: An Electro-Photographic Investigation of Connective Phases of Animal Movements.
Scientists meet in Paris and form the Carte du Ciel, an international photographic observation project whose goal is to map the heavens.
George Eastman perfects and patents the first Kodak box camera.
The earliest-known photographs of shock waves are made by Austrian physicist Ernst Mach (1838–1916) and his son, Ludwig.
Nature, a weekly science journal first published in 1869, introduces photographic images in its pages.
German manufacturer Zeiss introduces Paul Rudolph’s Protar lens, the first to successfully correct for all visual aberrations.
Observatories around the world agree to participate in and assemble Carte du Ciel, the first complete photographic survey of the sky.
First photo of an asteroid is made by German Astronomer Maximilan Franz Joseph Cornelius Wolf (1863–1932).
First underwater photographer, marine biologist Louis Boutan, begins his work in a marine laboratory in France.
German physicist Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen (1845–1923) makes a startling X-ray image of his wife’s hand and revolutionizes medical photography.
American neurologist M. Allen Starr’s Atlas of Nerve Cells features the first published microphotographs of neurons.
A 40”-diameter refracting telescope is built at Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin, and remains the largest refracting telescope to date.
The Kodak Brownie camera is introduced and sells for $1, making photography more accessible and affordable to the public.
German physicist Arthur Korn (1870–1945) devises telephotography, which allows photographic images to be transmitted as electrical signals by wire to distant locations.
American businessman and astronomer Percival Lowell makes photographs of Mars, and claims they show life-supporting canals on planet’s surface.
Panchromatic film, with an emulsion sensitivity that captures light and scenes as they appear to the human eye, is commercially marketed.
Arthur Worthington (1852–1916), an English physicist and educator known for his research, drawings, and then photographs about fluid mechanics, publishes A Study of Splashes.
French microbiologist Jean Comandon attaches a movie camera to a microscope and records time-lapse images of syphilis bacteria.
First filmed version of Frankenstein, based on Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel, tells the story of a young scientist who, in trying to create a perfect human being in the laboratory, makes a monster.
Berlin pathologist Albert Solomon uses an X-ray machine to study mastectomy specimens and observes black spots at center of breast carcinomas.
During World War I, American art photographer Edward Steichen (1879–1973) becomes Chief of the Photographic Section of the American Expeditionary Forces, and develops new aerial photographic surveillance techniques.
Photographs of a solar eclipse by British astronomer, physicist, and mathematician Arthur Eddlington (1882–1944), confirm Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, are published worldwide, and turn Einstein into an “overnight” celebrity.
British inventors Harry G. Bartholomew and Maynard D. McFarlane invent the Bartlane cable picture transmission system and, in 1921, send photographic images across the Atlantic in less than three hours.
The American news agency Science Service, founded to improve public dissemination of scientific and technical news and information, begins distributing photos, news features, radio shows, motion pictures, phonograph records, and demonstration kits.
American electrical engineer Harold Edgerton (1903–90) invents the xenon flash lamp for strobe photography.
Hungarian-born artist László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946) publishes manifesto Painting, Photography, Film and encourages artists to look to science photography for inspiration.
Portuguese neurologist Egas Moniz uses contrasting agents to make brain imaging in live patients possible.
At the Fifth Solvay International Conference in Brussels, the world’s most notable physicists discuss the newly formulated quantum theory and pose for photos. Among those pictured are Marie Curie, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Max Planck, Wolgang Pauli, and Albert Einstein.
German photographer Albert Renger-Patzsch (1897–1966) publishes Die Welt ist Schön (The World is Beautiful), in which photographs of natural forms and industrial and mass-produced objects are presented together and with scientific clarity.
German photographer Karl Blosfeldt (1865–1932) publishes Unformed der Kunst, featuring elegant macrophotographs of plant forms.
Hungarian physicist Kálmán Tihanyi invents the infrared-sensitive, night-vision, electronic television camera for anti-aircraft defense in Britain.
German optician Berhhard Voldemar Schmidt (1879–1935) devises a corrector plate that enables telescopic images of the sky to be made with wide fields of view and limited distortion.
German engineer Ernst Ruska (1906–88), working with Max Knoll, builds prototype for an electron microscope, the first instrument to provide better definition than a light microscope.
In Rouben Mamoulian’s feature film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novel, a man of science ingests a potion he developed and turns into a maniac.
A new and popular version of Frankenstein, directed by James Whale and featuring Boris Karloff as the Monster, is released.
Edwin H. Land (1909–91), an American scientist, works with his physics instructor, George Wheelwright, to commercialize polarizing filter technology.
Images made in a cloud chamber, set up by Caltech scientists Carl Anderson and Robert Millikan, present strong evidence for the existence of a new particle, the positron.
In James Whale’s movie The Invisible Man, a scientist discovers a way to become invisible and turns insane.
The 200?, 28,000-lb. telescope mirror for the Mount Palomar Observatory is cast, but takes 11 years to be polished; it becomes operational in 1949.
Photomultiplier vacuum tubes developed by RCA, extremely sensitive detectors of light in the ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared ranges later, become useful in nuclear and particle physics, astronomy, and medical imaging.
British scientist Sir Robert Watson-Watt (1892–1973) patents the first practical radar system for meteorological applications. During World War II, radar allows Great Britain to detect incoming aircraft and provide information to intercept bombers.
American Surrealist artist Man Ray (1890–1976) photographs physical models of mathematical functions on display at the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris. Twelve are published in 1936 in the journal Cahiers d’Art.
Photographer and delphinium breeder Edward Steichen displays his flowers in a two-week exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Harold Edgerton exhibits panel of high-speed photography of hummingbird in flight at First International Exhibit of Scientific Applied Photography in Rochester, NY.
Xerography, images created by attracting carbon black to paper by electrostatic forces, is pioneered by American physicist and patent attorney Chester Floyd Carlson (1906–68).
Two feature films about Thomas Edison—Edison, the Man, staring Spencer Tracy, and Young Tom Edison, starring Mickey Rooney—are released.
The use of radar to detect storms begins.
Trinity, the first atomic bomb, is detonated in the New Mexican desert and photographed by dozens of cameras placed at various distances from the blast site.
First electron micrograph of an intact cell is published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine in March 1945 in “A Study of Tissue Culture Cells by Electron Microscopy,” by Keith R. Porter, Albert Claude, and Ernest F. Fullam.
First image of Earth seen from space is taken by a camera atop a German V-2 missile captured by Americans and launched from White Sands, NM.
The U.S. Civil Aviation Authority unveils an experimental radar-equipped control tower to monitor civil flights and air traffic.
British anthropologist Sir John Layard unearths the Nimrud Lens, a 3,000 year-old piece of Assyrian rock crystal possibly used as a magnifying glass or to concentrate the Sun’s rays and start fires.
American psychologist James Gibson distinguishes between “visual world” (the world of ordinary experience) and “visual field” (the world seen as if it were a picture) in The Perception of the Visual World.
British chemists Max Perutz and Sir John Kendrew use X-ray crystallography to solve the structure of the oxygen-carrying proteins myoglobin and hemoglobin. They win the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1962.
“Better Things for Better Living Through Chemistry,” a DuPont advertising slogan, is widely used through 1982.
American radiologists Russell Morgan and Edward Chamberlain and physicist John W. Coltman perfect a method of screen intensification, reducing radiation exposure and improving fluoroscopic vision, that leads to advances in medical and military imaging, including night vision.
The New Landscape in Art and Science, an exhibition at MIT curated by Hungarian-born artist/theorist György Kepes (1906–2001), features macro- and photomicrography, cloud chamber images, and high-speed photographs.
In The Day the Earth Stood Still—directed by Robert Wise and starring Patricia Neal and Michael Rennie—an alien arrives and warns Earthlings they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.
Don Herbert stars on the popular children’s TV show Watch Mr. Wizard (1951–65), where he demonstrates the science behind everyday objects and events.
Harold Edgerton and business partners, working for the Atomic Energy Commission, develop the rapitronic (rapid action electronic) shutter so cameras can photograph atomic bombs as they explode.
English chemist and X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin captures Photograph 51, the X-ray diffraction pattern image that provides James Watson and Francis Crick with the key to understanding the double helix structure of DNA.
LIFE magazine publishes a popular and widely read series of 13 science articles, The World We Live In, featuring photographs by Fritz Goro, Alfred Eisenstaedt, and others.
In feature film Godzilla—directed by Ishiro Honda and starring Takashi Shimura and Akihito Hirata—America’s testing of nuclear weapons results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.
Albert Einstein dies.
Salk polio vaccine is declared successful.
P. Snow delivers a lecture, “The Two Cultures,” that analyzes Western culture’s intellectual split between the sciences and the humanities.
French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau co-directs the documentary film The Silent World with Louis Malle.
First computer-scanned photograph, captured by Russell Kirsch at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards, is a portrait of his 3-month-old son.
The Russians’ launch of their Sputnik satellite into an orbit around the earth triggers the Cold War space race.
American electrical engineer and biophysicist Hal Anger invents a camera that uses gamma rays emitted by a radioactive isotope to detect tumors, and ushers in the age of nuclear medical imaging.
Explorer 6, a small earth-science satellite launched to study geomagnetism, also tests a scanning device designed to photograph the Earth’s cloud cover, and transmits the first pictures of Earth from orbit.
The first photo of the far side of the Moon is taken by the Soviet spacecraft Luna 3.
In On the Beach—directed by Stanley Kramer and starring Ava Gardner and Gregory Peck—residents of Australia, after a global nuclear war, must face the fact that all life will be destroyed in a matter of months.
Scottish physician Ian Donald and colleagues develop practical applications for ultrasound as a diagnostic tool in obstetrics and gynecology.
LIDAR, which combines focused laser-light imaging and radar, is first used by meteorologists to measure clouds.
Art historian Ernst Gombrich publishes Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation.
Science images produced by American photographer Berenice Abbott (1898–1991), sponsored by the Physical Science Study Committee, are featured in a high school physics textbook.
Images of Hurricane Esther are captured by Tiros III satellite, in orbit 400 miles away from Earth.
In The Absent Minded Professor—directed by Robert Stevenson and starring Fred MacMurray—a college professor invents an antigravity substance, which a corrupt businessman wants for himself.
Scripted TV shows about medical doctors, such as Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare (both 1961–66) become popular.
American biologists Sy Rankowitz and James Robertson invent the first positron emission tomography (PET scan) transverse section instrument, which facilitates the diagnosis of types of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases.
NASA inaugurates an arts program and begins inviting artists, including Robert Rauschenberg and Norman Rockwell, to make work based on space flight.
British primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall publishes an account of her work, “My Life Among Wild Chimpanzees,” in National Geographic magazine.
Computers are used to enhance the quality of images of the Moon taken by the Ranger 7.
American computer scientists Woody Bledsoe, Helen Chan Wolf, Charles Bisson, and colleagues work with databases of photographic images and pioneer facial recognition systems.
First photo of Mars, transmitted from the Mariner satellite, is published.
Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson’s groundbreaking images of an 18-week-old human fetus are featured in the April 30th issue of LIFE magazine.
In the feature film Fantastic Voyage, a submarine shrinks to microscopic size and travels through the circulatory system and body of an injured scientist to repair damage to his brain.
Once Invisible, an exhibition of science photographs curated by John Szarkowski, opens at the Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Godfrey Hounsfield, an English electrical engineer, conceives the idea for computed tomography (CT) scanning and by builds a whole-body scanner.
Astronauts on Apollo 7, the first piloted Apollo mission, conduct two scientific photographic sessions and transmit television pictures to the American public from inside the space capsule.
Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders takes a color photograph of Earth rising over the lunar surface that creates a sensation back home and, some believe, triggers the start of the environmental movement.
Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith invent the first successful digital sensor, a CCD (charge-coupled device), which transforms light into signals that can be captured electronically rather than on film.
Albert V. Crewe, British-born American physicist, is first to photograph single atoms with a scanning transmission electron microscope.
American zoologist and conservationist Dian Fossey’s work with gorillas is featured in photographs in National Geographic magazine.
American chemist Paul C. Lauterbur’s work helps conceptualize and define magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses magnetic fields and pulses of radio-wave energy to picture organs and structures inside the human body, providing different data than other scanning types.
Apollo 15 astronauts use LIDAR technology to map the surface of the Moon.
The Blue Marble, a photograph of Earth taken on December 7, 1972, from 28,000 miles away by the crew of the Apollo 17, becomes one of the most widely distributed images in human history.
British engineer Godfrey Hounsfield and South African–born American physicist Allan Cormack develop the computerized axial tomography scanner to produce CAT scans, which combine multiple X-ray images to generate cross-sectional views and 3D images of internal organs and structures.
Landsat, a joint project of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, begins to create a continuous map and photographic archive of images of the globe made from space and used for monitoring agricultural productivity, water resources, urban growth, deforestation, and natural change.
Astronauts on Skylab, the first U.S. space station, conduct high-resolution photography of Earth using photographic remote-sensing systems mounted on the spacecraft as well as a Hasselblad handheld camera.
American biophysicist Michael E. Phelps develops the first positron emission tomography (PET) camera and the first whole-body system for human and animal studies that shows how organs and tissues are working.
Steven Sasson invents the first digital camera at Eastman Kodak in 1975. It weighed 8 pounds (3.6 kg), had 0.01 megapixels, and took 23 seconds to record an image to a cassette tape.
NOVA, a popular and award-winning American TV series featuring interviews with scientists, based upon an earlier BBC2 series, Horizon, is distributed worldwide.
Conspiracists question whether Apollo Moon landings ever happened, claiming NASA faked photographs and shot the scenes on Hollywood sound stages.
Flatbed scanner is invented by American computer scientist/futurist Ray Kurzweil.
First full MRI scan of a human being is produced.
Powers of Ten: A Film Dealing with the Relative Size of Things in the Universe and the Effect of Adding Another Zero, a film by Charles and Ray Eames, largely made from still photographs animated into a zoom shot, explores the nature of scale and the limits of the observable universe.
Connections, a 10-episode BBC documentary featuring science historian James Burke, airs and takes an interdisciplinary approach to science.
Voyager 1 spacecraft, nearing Jupiter, captures hundreds of images of its approach.
On the TV mini-series Cosmos, American astronomer Carl Sagan explores and reports on various elements and theories of the universe.
Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer, physicists working for IBM, design and build the first scanning tunneling microscope (STM), an instrument for imaging surfaces on the atomic level.
American engineering scientist Milton Van Dyke (1922–2010) publishes An Album of Fluid Motion, a collection of black-and-white photographs of flow visualizations for different types of fluid flows.
Beyond Vision exhibition and book by John Darius for Britain’s National Museum of Photography, Film and Television includes 100 photographs that “provide information inaccessible to the human eye.”
In 1986, Gerd Binnig, Cal Quate, and Christoph Gerber introduce the atomic force microscope (AFM), which is used in surface science, nanotechnology, polymer science, semiconductor materials processing, microbiology, and cellular biology.
The Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) is developed by Microsoft and Aldus for use in input/output devices such as printers, monitors, and scanners, designed to be compatible with different image-processing devices.
First disposable camera for photography is marketed by Fujifilm.
Echo-planar imaging (EPI) is used to perform real-time movie imaging of a single cardiac cycle.
Kodak reaches its peak payroll of 145,300 employees.
Adobe Photoshop 1.0 is introduced.
The Hubble Space Telescope, a cooperative effort of the European Space Agency and NASA, and named after astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889–1953), is sent into orbit, and is designed to be regularly serviced by shuttle crews over its expected 15-year life span.
The JPEG is created in 1992 as a standard for the next generation of image file format compression schemes.
Introduction of functional MRI imaging (fMRI) allows for mapping regions of the brain responsible for thought and motor control, and facilitates early detection of acute stroke.
The Face Recogntion Technology (FERET) Evaluation is co-sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Products Agency (DARPA) in an effort to encourage the development of face recognition algorithms and technology.
Bill Nye The Science Guy, a live-action educational comedy television program, debuts on American TV.
Portable Network Graphics file format (PNG) is created as a flexible file format that allows lossless data compression, gamma correction for cross-platform consistency in brightness, and variable transparency.
The Casio QV-10 is the first camera with a LCD screen on back for users to preview images.
French-born technology entrepreneur Philippe Kahn sends the first camera-phone photograph of his newborn daughter.
Beauty of Another Order: Photography in Science, an exhibition curated by Ann Thomas, opens at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
The Chandra X-Ray Observatory is launched, designed to detect X-ray emission from hot regions of the universe such as exploded stars, clusters of galaxies, and matter around black holes.
The first commercially available mobile phone with a camera that can take still pictures is introduced by J-Phone.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000–15), a TV show about a team of Las Vegas police forensic experts, premieres.
A facial recognition system is installed at the Super Bowl in Tampa, FL. No “wanted” individuals are found, but about a dozen innocent sports fans are identified as such. Media and Congressional inquiries raise privacy concerns among the general public.
First generation of PillCams© are introduced.
The Spitzer Space Telescope is launched, the most sensitive infrared space observatory ever produced, and joins 3 other space observatories (Hubble, Compton, and Chandra), each observing the universe in a different kind of light.
MythBusters (2003–present) premieres on TV and features Hollywood special effects experts debunking urban legends by directly testing them.
The photographic mapping program Google Earth is released for public use. Its development was funded by Keyhole, Inc., a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-funded company acquired by Google in 2004.
First light for the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) in South Africa. It is 33’ in diameter, making it the largest optical telescope located in the Southern Hemisphere.
On assignment for National Geographic, American George Steinmetz is the first photographer to use digital camera traps to photograph wildlife.
On assignment for National Geographic, American George Steinmetz is the first photographer to use digital camera traps to photograph wildlife.
First binocular images from the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona, 10 times sharper than Hubble Space Telescope images.
Breaking Bad (2008–15) premieres, with the story of terminally ill high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who sets up a methamphetamine lab to produce and sell drugs to ensure his family’s financial security after his death.
GigaPan Systems equipment, using software devised for NASA’s Mars Spirit and Opportunity rovers, create hyper-detailed gigapixel panoramic images.
American biochemist Roger Tsien shares Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Osamu Shimomura and Martin Chalfie for their work on green fluorescent protein (GFP), used in imaging living cells and tissues.
Brought to Light: Photography and the Invisible, 1840–1900, an exhibition curated by Corey Keller, opens at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Television: Through The Wormhole (2010–present), hosted by Morgan Freeman, premieres, and explores the deepest mysteries of existence.
Lytro releases the first pocket-sized light-field camera for consumers, capable of refocusing images after they have been taken.
MIT, using a technique called Femto Photography, develops a camera that captures one trillion frames per second, including light as it moves through space.
Collide@CERN, a program that brings artists and scientists together in a free exchange of ideas, is inaugurated.
Stanford computer scientist Fei-Fei Li and colleagues launch ImageNet, the world’s largest dataset with more than 14 million images, as a resource for computer vision researchers.
NASA launches its Instagram account.
In Interstellar—directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Matthew McConnaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Michael Caine—a team of scientists travels through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity’s survival.
European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft, after traveling 10 years and 4 billion miles, provides unprecedented close-up images of a comet.
NASA’S New Horizons satellite, launched on January 19, 2006, conducts a 6-month photo-reconnaissance study of Pluto and its moons, and sends unprecedented hi-res images back to earth.
Revelations: Experiments in Photography, an exhibition curated by Ben Burbridge and Greg Hobson, opens at the Science Museum, London.
University of Stuttgart scientists create a tiny camera, the size of a grain of salt, that can be injected into the human body through a syringe.