- In September 1972, Premier Zhou Enlai wrote to Zhang Wenyu and Zhu Guangya "This issue should not be delayed any further. The study of high energy physics and the R&D of a high energy accelerator should be one of the main projects of CAS.”
- In February 1973, approved by Premier Zhou Enlai, the Institute of High Energy Physics was established on the basis of the Department One of the Institute of Atomic Energy. The director was Zhang Wenyu.
- In April 1983, the State Council officially approved the proposal to construct the Beijing Electron Positron Collider (BEPC), which was submitted by the State Planning Commission.
- In October 1984, ground was broken for the BEPC project. Deng Xiaoping and other Party and State leaders laid the foundation for it.
- On October 16, 1988, the first electron and positron collisions were realized at BEPC. Deng Xiaoping and other Party and State leaders inspected the BEPC project and extended their regards to the builders. Deng made the important remarks, "China must develop its own high-tech and take its place in the area of high-tech in the world".
- In August 1988, IHEP for the first time established a computer link with CERN via satellite. A VAX785 at IHEP became the first computer connected to the internet from China with the node: BEPC2.IHEP.CERN.CH.
- In January 1990, the air shower array for observing ultra-high energy γ at Yangbajing, Tibet commenced with 44 detectors operating around the clock, recording shower events incurred by ultra-high energy cosmic rays.
- In September 1991, BSRF was opened to domestic users.
- In March 1992, BES published its first physics paper on the precision measurement of the tau mass, which removed doubts about lepton universality.
- In December 1993, the lasing of BFEL reached saturation, the first of its kind in Asia.
- In November 1994, the expansion of the Yangbajing cosmic ray experimental station for the Sino-Japanese collaboration was completed with the extended air shower array covering an area of 60000 square meters, one of the four biggest arrays in the world for the research of high energy γ astronomy and cosmic rays.
- In February 1999, the BEPC/BES/BSRF upgraded items successfully passed appraisal.
- In July 2000, The Science and Technology Leading Group of the State Council examined and passed the Report on the Development Goals of China's High Energy Physics and Advanced Accelerators. It also approved the upgrade of BEPC.
- In December 2003, The National Development and Reform Commission officially approved the BEPC Upgrade Project.
- In January 2004, the BEPC Upgrade Project kicked off.
- In October 2007, the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment started construction.
- In July 2008, the first collisions observed by the new BESIII detector were realized at the BEPCII, the upgraded BEPC. The collisions represented a major milestone of the upgraded project.
- In September 2008, the China Spallation Neutron Source Project was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission.
- In July 2009, the Upgrade Project, BEPCII, successfully passed the National Acceptance Test organized by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which marked the successful completion of the Upgrade on schedule, within budget and at high quality.
- In October 2011, the inauguration ceremony for the China Spallation Neutron Source Project was held in Dongguan.
- In March 2012, the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment announced the discovery of a new type of neutrino oscillation. The Daya Bay collaboration’s first results indicated that theta13, expressed as sin22θ13, is equal to 0.092 plus or minus 0.017.
- On December 20, 2012, the discovery of a new type of neutrino oscillation from the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment was selected as one of the Top Ten Breakthroughs in the Year 2012 by Science Magazine.
- In March 2013, the BESIII Collaboration reported that the Y(4260) particle can decay to a new, and perhaps even more mysterious, particle named the "Zc(3900).”