Professor Thomas Young (1773-1829)

Thomas Young was a genius. At the age of two he had learnt to read and by the age of four had read through the Bible twice; by the age of six he was a scholar in Latin. He seemed to absorb information like a dry sponge and became a private tutor in the classics by the age of fourteen. His Christian faith was very much a part of his scientific work.

In 1792 he began to study medicine and went to Edinburgh University. He was called ‘Phenomenon Young’ by his classmates because of his extraordinary abilities. Young was the first person to develop the double-slit experiment to study the behaviour of light and show that light acted as a wave and not just as a particle. This discovery was vital for our later understanding of physics. Besides this he was a professor of medicine and also became a key man in deciphering the Rosetta Stone and was the first person to publish the translation from the Egyptian hieroglyphs.