1772 in science
- Lagrange finds the special-case solution to the three-body problem that becomes known as the Lagrangian points.
- Johann Heinrich Lambert publishes seven new map projections, including the Lambert conformal conic, transverse Mercator and Lambert azimuthal equal area.
- Daniel Rutherford isolates nitrogen.
- Joseph Priestley synthesizes nitrous oxide as phlogisticated nitrous air. Antoine Lavoisier privately presents his own views on phlogiston theory to the French Academy of Sciences.
- Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau demonstrates that metals gain weight on calcination.
- The Central England temperature (CET) record begins daily measurements of mean surface air temperatures in the Midlands region of England.
- William Hamilton publishes Observations on Mount Vesuvius, Mount Etna, and Other Volcano's: in a series of letters addressed to the Royal Society from the Honorable Sir William Hamilton (London).
- Euler confirms that 31 is a Mersenne prime.
- The Marquis de Condorcet publishes his second significant paper on integral calculus.
- May 28 – The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal opens for traffic throughout in England from a junction with the Trent and Mersey Canal to the River Severn at Stourport. Engineered by James Brindley, this is the first British trunk canal completed and its dimensions determine the size of boat used throughout the narrow canal network (72 feet (22 m) by 7 feet (2.1 m)).
- Andrew Meikle invents spring sails for windmills.
- Joseph Priestley – The History and Present State of Discoveries Relating to Vision, Light and Colours ("Optics")
- February 11 – Thomas Webster, Scottish geologist (died 1844)
- June 8 – Robert Stevenson, Scottish lighthouse engineer (died 1850)
- April 15 – Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, French naturalist (died 1844)
- October 29 – Jean Henri Jaume Saint-Hilaire, French botanist (died 1845)
- November 28 – Luke Howard, English meteorologist and manufacturing chemist (died 1864)
- December 25 – John Mackay, Scottish botanist (died 1802)
- March 22 – John Canton, English physicist (born 1718)
- March 29 – Emanuel Swedenborg, Swedish scientist and theologian (born 1688)
- September 30 – James Brindley, English canal builder (born 1716)
- Presented to the Académie française.
- Lambert, Johann Heinrich (1772). "Ammerkungen und Zusatze zurder Land und Himmelscharten Entwerfung". Beitrage zum Gebrauche der Mathematik in deren Anwendung. 3 (6). Reprint: "Anmerkungen und Zusätze zur Entwerfung der Land- und Himmelscharten" (xml). W. Engelmann. 1894. Retrieved 2007-04-10. Translation: Notes and Comments on the Composition of Terrestrial and Celestial Maps. University of Michigan Press. 1972.
- Snyder, John P. (1993). Flattening the Earth: Two Thousand Years of Map Projections. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-76747-7.
- Snyder, John P. (1987). Map Projections: a Working Manual. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1395. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent (1965). Elements of chemistry, in a new systematic order: containing all the modern discoveries. Courier Dover Publications. p. 15. ISBN 0-486-64624-6. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
- Keys, T. E. (1941). "The Development of Anesthesia". Anesthesiology. 2: 552–574. doi:10.1097/00000542-194109000-00008.
- Guyton de Morveau, Louis-Bernard (1772). "Dissertation dur la phlogistique". Digressions académiques, ou essais sur quelgues sujets de physique, de chymie & d'histoire naturelle. Dijon: Frantin.
- "UK's warmest year on record predicted". BBC. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- Caldwell, Chris. "The largest known prime by year". Retrieved 2011-12-30.
- Hadfield, Charles (1969). The Canals of the West Midlands (2nd ed.). Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 50. ISBN 0-7153-4660-1.
- "The important exterior features of a windmill". Odur.net. Retrieved 2008-04-30.