Chronology of Thermodynamics, Statistical Mechanics, and Random Processes

1761 Joseph Black discovers that ice absorbs heat without changing temperature when melting.
1798 Count Rumford has the idea that heat is a form of energy.
1822 Joseph Fourier formally introduces the use of dimensions for physical quantities in his Theorie Analytique de la Chaleur.
1824 Sadi Carnot scientifically analyzes the efficiency of steam engines.
1827 Robert Brown discovers the Brownian motion of pollen and dye particles in water.
1834 Benoit-Pierre Clapeyron presents a formulation of the second law of thermodynamics.
1843 James Joule experimentally finds the mechanical equivalent of heat.
1848 Lord Kelvin discovers the absolute zero point of temperature.
1852 James Joule and Lord Kelvin demonstrate that a rapidly expanding gas cools.
1859 James Clerk Maxwell discovers the distribution law of molecular velocities.
1870 Rudolph Clausius proves the scalar virial theorem.
1872 Ludwig Boltzmann states the Boltzmann equation for the temporal development of distribution functions in phase space.
1874 Lord Kelvin formally states the second law of thermodynamics.
1876 Josiah Gibbs begins a two-year long series of papers which discusses phase equilibria, the free energy as the driving force behind chemical reactions, and chemical thermodynamics in general.
1879 Josef Stefan observes that the total radiant flux from a blackbody is proportional to the fourth power of its temperature.
1884 Ludwig Boltzmann derives the Stefan-Boltzmann blackbody radiant flux law from thermodynamic considerations.
1888 Henri-Louis Le Chatelier states that the response of a chemical system perturbed from equilbrium will be to counteract the perturbation.
1893 Wilhelm Wien discovers the displacement law for a blackbody's maximum specific intensity.
1905 Albert Einstein mathematically analyzes the Brownian motion.
1906 Walther Nernst presents a formulation of the third law of thermodynamics.
1910 Albert Einstein and Marian Smoluchowski find the Einstein-Smoluchowski formula for the attenuation coefficient due to density fluctuations in a gas.
1916 Sydney Chapman and David Enskog systematically develop a kinetic theory of gases.
1919 James Jeans discovers that the dynamical constants of motion determine the distribution function for a system of particles.
1920 Meghnad Saha states his ionization equation.
1923 Pieter Debye and Erich Huckel publish a statistical treatment of the dissociation of electrolytes.
1928 J.B. Johnson discovers Johnson noise in a resistor.
1928 Harry Nyquist derives the fluctuation-dissipation relationship for a resistor to explain Johnson noise.
1942 J.L. Doob states his theorem on Gaussian-Markoff processes.
1957 A.S. Kompaneets derives his Compton scattering Fokker-Planck equation.