SCIENCE, INDUSTRY & BUSINESS LIBRARY / NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE, INDUSTRY & BUSINESS LIBRARY / NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Thomas Young (1773-1829), British physicist and Egyptologist. Young was a voracious reader as a child, and excelled at languages. In 1794 he described the anatomy and focusing of the eye, and was elected to the Royal Society. Between 1800 and 1804 he championed the wave theory of light. Using the apparatus now known as Young's slits, he showed how a split beam formed bands of dark and light as the waves interfered with each other. This theory was not popular at the time, however. He later proposed that light travelled as a trans- verse wave. He also translated some of the Egyptian hieroglyphics on the Rosetta Stone.
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