What did lord kelvin do

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what did lord kelvin do

Quote by Lord Kelvin: “When you can measure what you are speaking abou...”

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Kelvin Master of Measurement

Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824 - 1907)

Thomson, who was knighted and raised to the peerage in recognition of his work in engineering and physics, was foremost among the small group of British scientists who helped lay the foundations of modern physics. His contributions to science included a major role in the development of the second law of thermodynamics ; the absolute temperature scale measured in kelvin s ; the dynamical theory of heat; the mathematical analysis of electricity and magnetism , including the basic ideas for the electromagnetic theory of light; the geophysical determination of the age of the Earth ; and fundamental work in hydrodynamics. His theoretical work on submarine telegraphy and his inventions for use on submarine cables aided Britain in capturing a preeminent place in world communication during the 19th century. While a student at the University of Cambridge , he was awarded silver sculls for winning the university championship in racing single-seater rowing shells. He was an inveterate traveler all of his life, spending much time on the Continent and making several trips to the United States. In later life he commuted between homes in London and Glasgow. Thomson risked his life several times during the laying of the first transatlantic cable.

William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin. Image: Smithsonian Libraries, via Wikimedia Commons. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.
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British Broadcasting Corporation Home. William Thomson was born on 26 June in Belfast. He was taught by his father, a professor of mathematics. In , the family moved to Glasgow where Thomson attended university from the age of 10, subsequently studying at Cambridge and Paris universities. In he became professor of natural philosophy in Glasgow, a post he would hold for more than 50 years. In Glasgow, Thomson created the first physics laboratory in Britain.

At the University of Glasgow he did important work in the mathematical analysis of electricity and formulation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics , and did much to unify the emerging discipline of physics in its modern form. He worked closely with mathematics professor Hugh Blackburn in his work. He also had a career as an electric telegraph engineer and inventor, which propelled him into the public eye and ensured his wealth, fame and honour. For his work on the transatlantic telegraph project he was knighted in by Queen Victoria , becoming Sir William Thomson. He had extensive maritime interests and was most noted for his work on the mariner's compass , which previously had limited reliability. Absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in his honour.

Thank you for registering with Physics World If you'd like to change your details at any time, please visit My account. David Saxon explains how Kelvin played key roles in everything from thermodynamics and electric lighting to transatlantic telecommunication and the age of the Sun. Prior to his enoblement in as the first ever scientist peer, he was William later Sir William Thomson. Born in Belfast in , Kelvin moved to Glasgow in when his father, James Thomson, was appointed to the chair of mathematics at the university. At the age of 10, Kelvin enrolled at the university as its youngest ever student. In , Kelvin left for Cambridge University before returning to Glasgow six years later to become professor of natural philosophy, a position he held for 53 years. Along the way, Kelvin amassed a personal fortune as an inventor and investor in new technologies such as electrical lighting.


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  2. Michael R. says:

    William Thomson, Lord Kelvin - MagLab

  3. Darian B. says:

    Kelvin opposed Darwin's views on natural selection, on the grounds that the Earth was too young for natural selection to have occurred.

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