William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin

Lord KelvinWilliam ThomsonWilliam Thomson, Lord KelvinSir William ThomsonKelvinWilliam Thomson (Lord Kelvin)ThomsonThe Lord KelvinSir William Thomson (Lord Kelvin)Baron Kelvin
William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, (26 June 1824 – 17 December 1907) was an Irish-Scottish (of Ulster Scots heritage) mathematical physicist and engineer who was born in Belfast in 1824.wikipedia
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Kelvin

KkelvinsKelvin scale
Absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in his honour.
The kelvin is the base unit of temperature in the International System of Units (SI), having the unit symbol K. It is named after the Belfast-born, Glasgow University engineer and physicist William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (1824–1907).

James Thomson (engineer)

James ThomsonJamesJames Thompson
William and his elder brother James were tutored at home by their father while the younger boys were tutored by their elder sisters.
Professor James Thomson FRS FRSE LLD (16 February 1822 – 8 May 1892) was an engineer and physicist whose reputation is substantial though it is overshadowed by that of his younger brother William Thomson (Lord Kelvin).

Hugh Blackburn

Blackburn, Hugh
He worked closely with mathematics professor Hugh Blackburn in his work.
A lifelong friend of William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin), and the husband of illustrator Jemima Blackburn, he was professor of mathematics at the University of Glasgow from 1849 to 1879.

Peterhouse, Cambridge

PeterhousePeterhouse CollegeMaster of Peterhouse
William's father was able to make a generous provision for his favourite son's education and, in 1841, installed him, with extensive letters of introduction and ample accommodation, at Peterhouse, Cambridge.
Peterhouse alumni are notably eminent within the natural sciences, including scientists Lord Kelvin, Henry Cavendish, Charles Babbage, James Clerk Maxwell, James Dewar, Frank Whittle, and five Nobel prize winners in science: Sir John Kendrew, Sir Aaron Klug, Archer Martin, Max Perutz, and Michael Levitt.

Largs

Largs, North Ayrshire
He was ennobled in 1892 in recognition of his achievements in thermodynamics, and of his opposition to Irish Home Rule, becoming Baron Kelvin, of Largs in the County of Ayr.
It also became a fashionable place to live in and several impressive mansions were built, the most significant of which included 'Netherhall', the residence of William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, the physicist and engineer.

British Science Association

British Association for the Advancement of ScienceBritish AssociationBritish Science Festival
By 1847, Thomson had already gained a reputation as a precocious and maverick scientist when he attended the British Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Oxford.
The undertaking was suggested to the BA by William Thomson, and its success was due to the use of Thomson's mirror galvanometer.

Thermodynamic temperature

absolute temperaturetemperatureabsolute
He proposed an absolute temperature scale in which a unit of heat descending from a body A at the temperature T° of this scale, to a body B at the temperature (T−1)°, would give out the same mechanical effect [work], whatever be the number T. Such a scale would be quite independent of the physical properties of any specific substance. By employing such a "waterfall", Thomson postulated that a point would be reached at which no further heat (caloric) could be transferred, the point of absolute zero about which Guillaume Amontons had speculated in 1702.
Thermodynamic temperature is often also called absolute temperature, for two reasons: one, proposed by Kelvin, that it does not depend on the properties of a particular material; two that it refers to an absolute zero according to the properties of the ideal gas.

Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot

Sadi CarnotCarnotCarnot, Nicolas Leonard Sadi
At that meeting, he heard James Prescott Joule making yet another of his, so far, ineffective attempts to discredit the caloric theory of heat and the theory of the heat engine built upon it by Sadi Carnot and Émile Clapeyron.
Carnot's work attracted little attention during his lifetime, but it was later used by Rudolf Clausius and Lord Kelvin to formalize the second law of thermodynamics and define the concept of entropy.

James Prescott Joule

James JouleJouleJ. P. Joule
At that meeting, he heard James Prescott Joule making yet another of his, so far, ineffective attempts to discredit the caloric theory of heat and the theory of the heat engine built upon it by Sadi Carnot and Émile Clapeyron.
Joule worked with Lord Kelvin to develop an absolute thermodynamic temperature scale, which came to be called the Kelvin scale.

Henri Victor Regnault

RegnaultHenri-Victor RegnaultHenri V. Regnault
On gaining the fellowship, he spent some time in the laboratory of the celebrated Henri Victor Regnault, at Paris; but in 1846 he was appointed to the chair of natural philosophy in the University of Glasgow.
He was an early thermodynamicist and was mentor to William Thomson in the late 1840s.

Royal Belfast Academical Institution

Belfast Academical InstitutionRBAIRoyal Academical Institution, Belfast
William Thomson's father, James Thomson, was a teacher of mathematics and engineering at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and the son of a farmer.

James Thomson Bottomley

James Bottomley
His sister, Anna Thomson, was the mother of James Thomson Bottomley FRSE (1845-1926).
His mother, Anna Thomson, was the sister of William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, a connection which served him well throughout his life.

Smith's Prize

Smith's prizemanSmith PrizeRayleigh Prize
He also won the First Smith's Prize,
In 1854 George Stokes included an examination question on a particular theorem that William Thomson had written to him about, which is now known as Stokes' theorem.

James Thomson (mathematician)

James ThomsonJamesThomson, James
William Thomson's father, James Thomson, was a teacher of mathematics and engineering at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and the son of a farmer.
He was the father of the engineer and physicist James Thomson and the physicist Lord Kelvin.

Heat death of the universe

heat deathBig Whimperthe universe dies
Moreover, his theological beliefs led to speculation about the heat death of the universe.
The hypothesis of heat death stems from the ideas of William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (Lord Kelvin), who in the 1850s took the theory of heat as mechanical energy loss in nature (as embodied in the first two laws of thermodynamics) and extrapolated it to larger processes on a universal scale.

Mathematical physics

mathematical physicistmathematicalmathematical physicists
William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, (26 June 1824 – 17 December 1907) was an Irish-Scottish (of Ulster Scots heritage) mathematical physicist and engineer who was born in Belfast in 1824.
The Irishmen William Rowan Hamilton (1805–1865), George Gabriel Stokes (1819–1903) and Lord Kelvin (1824–1907) produced several major works: Stokes was a leader in optics and fluid dynamics; Kelvin made substantial discoveries in thermodynamics; Hamilton did notable work on analytical mechanics, discovering a new and powerful approach nowadays known as Hamiltonian mechanics.

Second law of thermodynamics

second lawsecond2nd law of thermodynamics
During his rewriting, he seems to have considered ideas that would subsequently give rise to the second law of thermodynamics.
The second law of thermodynamics may be expressed in many specific ways, the most prominent classical statements being the statement by Rudolf Clausius (1854), the statement by Lord Kelvin (1851), and the statement in axiomatic thermodynamics by Constantin Carathéodory (1909).

David Thomson (physicist)

Prof David ThomsonDavid Thomson
His physics tutor at this time was his namesake, David Thomson.
His most notable student was William Thomson, Lord Kelvin.

Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery

Hunterian MuseumHunterian Art GalleryHunterian Gallery
The Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow has a permanent exhibition on the work of Kelvin including many of his original papers, instruments, and other artifacts, such as his smoking pipe.
The museum contains a high number of scientific instruments owned by or created by Lord Kelvin and other 19th century instrument makers.

Joule–Thomson effect

Joule-Thomson effectJoule-Thomsonthrottling process
The collaboration lasted from 1852 to 1856, its discoveries including the Joule–Thomson effect, sometimes called the Kelvin–Joule effect, and the published results did much to bring about general acceptance of Joule's work and the kinetic theory.
The effect is named after James Prescott Joule and William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, who discovered it in 1852.

Peter Tait (physicist)

Peter Guthrie TaitPeter TaitP. G. Tait
Over the period 1855 to 1867, Thomson collaborated with Peter Guthrie Tait on a text book that founded the study of mechanics first on the mathematics of kinematics, the description of motion without regard to force.
He is best known for the mathematical physics textbook Treatise on Natural Philosophy, which he co-wrote with Kelvin, and his early investigations into knot theory,

Syphon recorder

siphon recorder
He patented the key elements of his system, the mirror galvanometer and the siphon recorder, in 1858.
The syphon or siphon recorder is an obsolete electromechanical device used as a receiver for submarine telegraph cables invented by William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin in 1867.

Absolute zero

0 Kzero temperaturezero kelvin
He proposed an absolute temperature scale in which a unit of heat descending from a body A at the temperature T° of this scale, to a body B at the temperature (T−1)°, would give out the same mechanical effect [work], whatever be the number T. Such a scale would be quite independent of the physical properties of any specific substance. By employing such a "waterfall", Thomson postulated that a point would be reached at which no further heat (caloric) could be transferred, the point of absolute zero about which Guillaume Amontons had speculated in 1702. While the existence of a lower limit to temperature (absolute zero) was known prior to his work, Kelvin is known for determining its correct value as approximately −273.15 degree Celsius or −459.67 degree Fahrenheit.
After James Prescott Joule had determined the mechanical equivalent of heat, Lord Kelvin approached the question from an entirely different point of view, and in 1848 devised a scale of absolute temperature that was independent of the properties of any particular substance and was based on Carnot's theory of the Motive Power of Heat and data published by Henri Victor Regnault.

Tide-predicting machine

Tide Predicting Machinetide predictorpredict tides
In 1876, he constructed a harmonic analyzer, in which an assembly of disks were used to sum trigonometric series and thus to predict tides.
The first tide-predicting machine, designed and built in 1872-3, and followed by two larger machines on similar principles in 1876 and 1879, was conceived by Sir William Thomson (who later became Lord Kelvin).

Alfred Ewing

James Alfred EwingSir James Alfred EwingSir Alfred Ewing
Thomson took part in the laying of the French Atlantic submarine communications cable of 1869, and with Jenkin was engineer of the Western and Brazilian and Platino-Brazilian cables, assisted by vacation student James Alfred Ewing.
During his summer vacations, he worked on telegraph cable laying expeditions, including one to Brazil, under William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin and Fleeming Jenkin.