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1773 – Young – bio

1773 – Young – bio

Thomas Young was born in 1773 in England and made important contributions in several areas of physics and also did significant work in many other fields, including: music, Egyptology and physiology.

Grimaldi collected some of the earliest observations of the diffraction, or bending of light as it passes an obstacle. Newton studied this, but concluded that light was composed of particles. Hooke developed one of the first wave theories of light, and then in 1668, Huygens also produced one. Euler suggested in 1746 that diffraction was more likely caused by a wave phenomenon. In 1801, Young performed the double-slit experiment that showed interference fringes and supported the wave theory of light. Fresnel, Poisson and Foucault added to this later.

In 1727, Euler developed a concept of elasticity that was used in experiments by Riccati in 1782. In 1807, Young published a paper describing a tensile modulus to measure elasticity of materials. Young also investigated the optics of the human eye, surface tension, and helped to translate Egyptian hieroglyphs.

PRECURSOR:
1618 – Grimaldi
1629 – Huygens
1635 – Hooke
1642 – Newton
1707 – Euler
1709 – Riccati

CONCURRENT:
1781 – Poisson
1788 – Fresnel
1791 – Faraday
1801 – double-slit experiment

SUBSEQUENT:
1819 – Foucault
1831 – Maxwell
1887 – Michelson–Morley experiment

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