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In solid mechanics, Young's modulus, also known as the tensile modulus, is a measure of the stiffness of an isotropic elastic material. It is defined as the ratio of the uniaxial stress over the uniaxial strain in the range of stress in which Hooke's Law holds. This can be experimentally determined from the slope of a stress-strain curve created during tensile tests conducted on a sample of the material. It is also commonly, but incorrectly, called the elastic modulus or modulus of elasticity, because Young's modulus is the most common elastic modulus used, however there are other elastic moduli, such as the bulk modulus and the shear modulus.
The Young's modulus allows the behavior of a bar made of an isotropic elastic material to be calculated under tensile or compressive loads. For instance, it can be used to predict the amount a wire will extend under tension or buckle under compression. Some calculations also require the use of other material properties, such as the shear modulus, density, or Poisson's ratio.
Young's modulus is named after Thomas Young, the 19th century British scientist. However, the concept was developed in 1727 by Leonhard Euler, and the first experiments that used the concept of Young's modulus in its current form were performed by the Italian scientist Giordano Riccati in 1782 — predating Young's work by 25 years.
Young's Modulus Units are Pressure Units
Young's modulus is the ratio of stress, which has units of pressure, to strain, which is dimensionless; therefore Young's modulus itself has units of pressure.
The SI unit of modulus of elasticity (E, or less commonly Y) is the pascal (Pa or N/m²); the practical units are megapascals (MPa or N/mm²) or gigapascals (GPa or kN/mm²). In United States customary units, it is expressed as pounds (force) per square inch (psi).
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