John Tyndall - Born: August 2, 1820, Leighlinbridge, Ireland

Timeline created by JLeivdal
  • Birth

    John Tyndall was born on August 2, 1820, in Leighlinbridge, Ireland.
    John Tyndall was an Irish experimental physicist who promoted science during the Victorian age. Tyndall is known for his work on the scattering of light by particulate impurities (Tyndall Effect) and on the absorption of infrared radiation by gases (Greenhouse Effect).
    Barton, Ruth. “John Tyndall.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2 Dec. 2019,
  • 1859 Natural Greenhouse Effect

    1859 Natural Greenhouse Effect
    Tyndall began to study radiative properties of different gasses. During this time, he also built the ratio spectrophotometer. The ratio spectrophotometer allowed Tyndall to measure absorption power of gases, where he discovered that there was a difference with colorless and invisible gases and vapors that absorb and transmit radiant heat. Through this experiment Tyndall was able to prove the Natural Greenhouse Effect concept to the Royal Society.
  • 1869 Heat a Mode of Motion

    1869 Heat a Mode of Motion
    Heat is considered Tyndall’s most read book. It consists of twelve lectures on the sciences of heat. Proving that the motion of particles create energy and heat. This book is still currently being published. Tyndall, John. Heat a Mode of Motion . 2nd ed., Appleton, 1869.
  • 1871 spontaneous generation

    1871 spontaneous generation
    1871 Louis Pasteur persuaded Tyndall to help him disprove Pasteur’s theory of spontaneous generation. They were able to devise a method of sterilization that proved Pasteur’s germ theory.
  • 1873 Contributions to Molecular Physics in the Domain of Radiant Heat

    1873 Contributions to Molecular Physics in the Domain of Radiant Heat
    In 1873 Tyndall published a series of memoirs “Contributions to Molecular Physics in the Domain of Radiant Heat". This publication included his work on the absorption of radiant heat by gases. Along with lectures presented to the Royal Society. Tyndall, John, 1820-1893. Contributions to Molecular Physics In the Domain of Radiant Heat: A Series of Memoirs Published In the 'Philosophical Transactions' And 'Philosophical Magazine,' With Additions. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1873.
  • 1878 Les Microbes organisés

    1878 Les Microbes organisés
    In 1878 Tyndall and Pasteur published their findings that proved Pasteur’s germ theory. Tyndall also showed that intermittent heating was the only reasonable method of sterilization.
    Tyndall, John, et al. Les Microbes organisés: Leur rôle Dans La Fermentation, La putréfaction Et La Contagion: mémoires De MM. Tyndall Et Pasteur. Librairie Des Mondes, 1878.
  • Death 1893

    Death 1893
    John Tyndall died of an accidental drug overdose on December 4, 1893. Tyndall’s wife accidently gave him chloral hydrate instead of sulphate of magnesia. Tyndall claimed that the cosmological theory was science and not theology and that matter had the power to produce life.