Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science






When Robert Hooke published the “Description of Heliscopen” in 1676 the quotation above appeared on page 31 – translated – “The power of any spring is in the same proportion with the tension therein.” He formulated his theory from experimental results. It remained for Young, nearly a century and a half later, to interpret Hooke’s results in the generalized sense known today. Young defined the modulus, now known by his name, as the ratio of the force, causing elongation or compression, over the increment of expansion or contraction produced by it. When a proportion of matter is under the influence of a force tending to change its shape or size, it is said to be under stress while the accompanying distortion or volume change is called the strain. A mixture of silicic, acid, and water transgresses, with a lapse of time, into a jelly-like substance called ‘gel’. Its specific properties depend upon the previous history and age of the gel. To find the characteristic behavior of the elasticity of silicic acid gel, with consideration of the usual variables, is the essence of this research.