Young’s modulus, also known as the tensile modulus, is a measure of the stiffness of an elastic material and is a quantity used to characterize materials. It is defined as the ratio of the uniaxial stress over the uniaxial in the range of stress in which Hooke’s law holds. In solid mechanics, the slope of the stress-strain curve at any point is called the tangent modulus. The tangent modulus of the initial, linear portion of a stress-strain curve is called Young’s modulus. It can be experimentally determined from the slope of a stress-strain curve created during tensile tests conducted on a sample of the material. In anisotropic materials, Young’s modulus may have different values depending on the direction of the applied force with respect to the material’s structure.
It is also commonly called the elastic modulus or modulus of elasticity, because Young’s modulus is the most common elastic modulus used, but there are other elastic moduli measured, too, such as the bulk modulus and the shear modulus.
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.