Talk:Thomas Young (scientist)

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German wiki[edit]

The German wikipedia mentions a Young's formula, which supposedly governs wetting to some extent. Yet I can find no mention of it here. Could someone please check to see if Thomas Young did in fact formulate this formula:

-- Ec5618 10:43, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

The Wikipedia article on Surface Energy credits Thomas Young and links to the article on Contact Angle which appears to be angle Theta in your formula. I think it is an accomplishment worth adding to the Thomas Young article. Also there should be mention of the Young temperament and possibly Young's Rule for determining child medicine doses.

Harold14370 16:01, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

"Last Person to Know Everything"?[edit]

How can he be considered "the last person to know everything" when two of the others claiming the same "title" (Coolerige, Goethe) died after Young? 04:26, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Not meaning any disrespect to the two persons mentioned, but I don't think they really qualify. Coleridge was pretty much just a poet. I don't even know why he was mentioned. Goethe made an impact as poet, dramatist, and novelist which are closely related. As a scientist, he really made no impact. His theory of light was a crock. As a painter, he just dabbled. A great man surely, but not really a polymath on the same order as Young. Harold14370 03:48, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

This article needs work[edit]

Please compare this article to the entries and improve this article. For instance, Young was the first to use the term energy in its modern, physical sense.-- 06:30, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

F = kx (formula attributed to Newton)[edit]

In the section titled "Young's modulus", the formula F = kx is attributed to Newton, but I always thought that was (Robert) Hooke's law of elasticity. Does anyone know for certain who devised this "law"? Did Newton also devise this relationship/law? TimProof 19:18, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

All the books I've consulted say Hooke. The only Newton connection is that Newton prevented Hooke's ideas from being given any play while Newton was alive. Dicklyon 23:27, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

John Zachary Young[edit]

I'm sure that J. Z. Young was a stalwart fellow, but surely the place to mention that he's a direct line descendant of Thomas Young is on his own (large and lengthy already) wikipedia article, and not on Thomas Young's. arkuat (talk) 06:46, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Why not mention it in both? Dicklyon (talk) 14:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Because then we'd be expected to do the research to make sure that all of Thomas Young's other descendants who were at least as notable as JZ were also mentioned in Thomas Young's article. arkuat (talk) 21:23, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

That's a lame excuse; there is no requirement to be complete or balanced in wikipedia. Dicklyon (talk) 21:48, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I think in this case an excuse is required for leaving this irrelevancy in Thomas Young's article, and no excuse is required for removing it. arkuat (talk) 03:02, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Doctor of Physics?[edit]

German wikipedia says that he obtained a decree as doctor of medicine. Considering physics' reputation back then, this seems to be more credible. Possibly change the article in this regard? Christoph Hahn (talk) 11:37, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Check and cite a source or two in the process. Apparently the Göttingen degree and later degrees at Cambridge were in "physic", which is what physician studies, i.e. what we now call medicine. See this book and this book. Dicklyon (talk) 16:46, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
D'accord. I was confused by a today's statement of my professor. Christoph Hahn (talk) 17:59, 1 November 2008 (UTC)


The text says: "In 1816 he was secretary of a commission charged with ascertaining the length of the second's pendulum" There have been amendments concerning the apostrophe - but what does a "second's pendulum" mean? Myrvin (talk) 14:08, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

It had been editted without comment to "second pendulum", which is clearly not what was intended. You can find hudreds of books that talk about a "second's pendulum" or a "seconds pendulum" on google book search. Dicklyon (talk) 02:40, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
You make it seem that what it is is obvious - it isn't. There is an article in Wiki on the "seconds pendulum", so there should be a link. Also perhaps a short explanation. Myrvin (talk) 13:50, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Did it myself Myrvin (talk) 09:43, 9 December 2009 (UTC)


  • . doi:10.1364/AO.2.00063. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • (PDF) Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Crichton-Browne, Sir James (1914). "The Thomas Young Oration". Transactions of the Optical Society. 15: 1. doi:10.1088/1475-4878/15/S/301.
  • . doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410370004001a. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • (PDF) Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • "Thomas Young: Physician Polymath".
  • "Thomas Young's research on fluid transients: 200 years on" (PDF).
  • Atchison, D. A.; Charman, W. N. (2010). "Thomas Young's contribution to visual optics: the Bakerian lecture "On the mechanism of the eye"". Journal of Vision. 10: 16. doi:10.1167/10.12.16.
  • Davidson, Michael W. (2010). "Pioneers in Optics: Richard Adolph Zsigmondy and Thomas Young". Microscopy Today. 18: 50. doi:10.1017/S1551929510000969.
  • Atchison, D. A.; Charman, W. N. (2010). "Thomas Young's contribution to visual optics: the Bakerian lecture "On the mechanism of the eye"". Journal of Vision. 10: 16. doi:10.1167/10.12.16. PMID 21047748.

--Stone (talk) 08:20, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Latest edits[edit]

There have been some strange edits by Cajun80.I have reverted them. Myrvin (talk) 19:52, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Last person to read everything?[edit]

Does anyone know if it's true that he was the last person to read all books (in English, presumably) that were published up to and including his lifetime? (I'm sure that can't be strictly true since I'm sure some books were published just before his death, but it could be true up until a certain point in his life.) If true, should it be mentioned? M-1 (talk) 00:41, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Young on animals?[edit]

I found this work called "An Essay on Humanity to Animals" (1798) at Googlebooks, and I wonder whether this is the Thomas Young of this article or another. Hope somebody may help.--Goose friend (talk) 07:00, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

Read this [1]; and this [2]. Myrvin (talk) 11:28, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

Boxhorn and IE[edit]

Boxhorn's name for the group was Scythian because he did not know about Sanskrit. The information about Boxhorn here is irrelevant (Pamour (talk) 15:08, 25 January 2015 (UTC)).

Logical semantics[edit]

The fourth paragraph in 'biography' reads, ". . . in 1818, after his death, he became secretary . . ." He didn't die until 1829 and I am finding it so difficult to contribute to this page on my smart phone (not being able to copy from the page in question and paste to here) I shan't bother in future. Kevin M Skinner (talk) 20:13, 14 April 2018 (UTC) Kevin M Skinner Kevin M Skinner (talk) 20:13, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

That vandalism edit was reverted, and then the revert was self-reverted. So I reverted that. Now it's fixed, I think. Dicklyon (talk) 22:18, 14 April 2018 (UTC)