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William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin,OM, GCVO, PC, PRS, FRSE (26 June 1824 – 17 December 1907) was a British mathematician, mathematical physicist and engineer born in Belfast. Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow for 53 years, 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 contemporary form. He received the Royal Society's Copley Medal in 1883, was its President 1890–1895, and in 1892 was the first British scientist to be elevated to the House of Lords.

President of the Royal Society
In office
1 December 1890 – 30 November 1895
Preceded bySir George Stokes
Succeeded byThe Lord Lister
Personal details
Born(1824-06-26)26 June 1824
Belfast, Ireland
Died17 December 1907(1907-12-17) (aged 83)
Largs, Scotland
NationalityBritish
Political partyLiberal (1865–1886)
Liberal Unionist (from 1886)
Spouse(s)
Margaret Crum
(m. 1852; died 1870)​

Frances Blandy
(m. 1874⁠–⁠1907)​
ChildrenNone
Signature
Alma mater
Known for
Awards
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Glasgow
Academic advisorsWilliam Hopkins
Notable students
Influences
InfluencedAndrew Gray
It is believed the "PNP" in his signature stands for "Professor of Natural Philosophy". Note that Kelvin also wrote under the pseudonym "P. Q. R."

Absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in his honour. 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 degrees Celsius or −459.67 degrees Fahrenheit. The Joule–Thomson effect is also named in his honour.

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 1866 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.

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. The title refers to the River Kelvin, which flows near his laboratory at the University of Glasgow's Gilmorehill home at Hillhead. Despite offers of elevated posts from several world-renowned universities, Kelvin refused to leave Glasgow, remaining until his eventual retirement from that post in 1899. Active in industrial research and development, he was recruited around 1899 by George Eastman to serve as vice-chairman of the board of the British company Kodak Limited, affiliated with Eastman Kodak. In 1904 he became Chancellor of the University of Glasgow.

His home was the red sandstone mansion Netherhall, in Largs, which he built in the 1870s and where he died. 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 artefacts, such as his smoking pipe.

Contents

Family

Thomson family tree: James Thomson (mathematician), James Thomson (engineer), and William Thomson, were all professors at the University of Glasgow; the later two, through their association with William Rankine, another Glasgow professor, worked to form one of the founding schools of thermodynamics.

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 married Margaret Gardner in 1817 and, of their children, four boys and two girls survived infancy. Margaret Thomson died in 1830 when William was six years old.

William and his elder brother James were tutored at home by their father while the younger boys were tutored by their elder sisters. James was intended to benefit from the major share of his father's encouragement, affection and financial support and was prepared for a career in engineering.

In 1832, his father was appointed professor of mathematics at Glasgow and the family moved there in October 1833. The Thomson children were introduced to a broader cosmopolitan experience than their father's rural upbringing, spending mid-1839 in London and the boys were tutored in French in Paris. Much of Thomson's life during the mid-1840s was spent in Germany and the Netherlands. Language study was given a high priority.

His sister, Anna Thomson, was the mother of James Thomson Bottomley FRSE (1845–1926).

Youth

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Thomson had heart problems and nearly died when he was 9 years old. He attended the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, where his father was a professor in the university department. In 1834, aged 10, he began studying at the University of Glasgow, not out of any precociousness; the University provided many of the facilities of an elementary school for able pupils, and this was a typical starting age.

In school, Thomson showed a keen interest in the classics along with his natural interest in the sciences. At the age of 12 he won a prize for translating Lucian of Samosata's Dialogues of the Gods from Latin to English.

In the academic year 1839/1840, Thomson won the class prize in astronomy for his Essay on the figure of the Earth which showed an early facility for mathematical analysis and creativity. His physics tutor at this time was his namesake, David Thomson.

Throughout his life, he would work on the problems raised in the essay as a coping strategy during times of personal stress. On the title page of this essay Thomson wrote the following lines from Alexander Pope's Essay on Man. These lines inspired Thomson to understand the natural world using the power and method of science:

Go, wondrous creature! mount where Science guides;
Go measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides;
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,

Correct old Time, and regulate the sun;

Thomson became intrigued with Fourier's Théorie analytique de la chaleur and committed himself to study the "Continental" mathematics resisted by a British establishment still working in the shadow of Sir Isaac Newton. Unsurprisingly, Fourier's work had been attacked by domestic mathematicians, Philip Kelland authoring a critical book. The book motivated Thomson to write his first published scientific paper under the pseudonym P.Q.R., defending Fourier, and submitted to the Cambridge Mathematical Journal by his father. A second P.Q.R. paper followed almost immediately.

While on holiday with his family in Lamlash in 1841, he wrote a third, more substantial P.Q.R. paper On the uniform motion of heat in homogeneous solid bodies, and its connection with the mathematical theory of electricity. In the paper he made remarkable connections between the mathematical theories of heat conduction and electrostatics, an analogy that James Clerk Maxwell was ultimately to describe as one of the most valuable science-forming ideas.

William Thomson, aged 22
The meander of the River Kelvin containing the Neo-Gothic Gilmorehill campus of the University of Glasgow designed by George Gilbert Scott, to which the university moved in the 1870s (photograph 1890s)

Cambridge

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. While at Cambridge, Thomson was active in sports, athletics and sculling, winning the Colquhoun Sculls in 1843. He also took a lively interest in the classics, music, and literature; but the real love of his intellectual life was the pursuit of science. The study of mathematics, physics, and in particular, of electricity, had captivated his imagination. In 1845 Thomson graduated as Second Wrangler. He also won the First Smith's Prize, which, unlike the tripos, is a test of original research. Robert Leslie Ellis, one of the examiners, is said to have declared to another examiner "You and I are just about fit to mend his pens."

In 1845, he gave the first mathematical development of Michael Faraday's idea that electric induction takes place through an intervening medium, or "dielectric", and not by some incomprehensible "action at a distance". He also devised the mathematical technique of electrical images, which became a powerful agent in solving problems of electrostatics, the science which deals with the forces between electrically charged bodies at rest. It was partly in response to his encouragement that Faraday undertook the research in September 1845 that led to the discovery of the Faraday effect, which established that light and magnetic (and thus electric) phenomena were related.

He was elected a fellow of St. Peter's (as Peterhouse was often called at the time) in June 1845. 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. At twenty-two he found himself wearing the gown of a professor in one of the oldest Universities in the country, and lecturing to the class of which he was a first year student a few years before.

Thermodynamics

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. 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 argued for the mutual convertibility of heat and mechanical work and for their mechanical equivalence.

Thomson was intrigued but sceptical. Though he felt that Joule's results demanded theoretical explanation, he retreated into an even deeper commitment to the Carnot–Clapeyron school. He predicted that the melting point of ice must fall with pressure, otherwise its expansion on freezing could be exploited in a perpetuum mobile. Experimental confirmation in his laboratory did much to bolster his beliefs.

In 1848, he extended the Carnot–Clapeyron theory further through his dissatisfaction that the gas thermometer provided only an operational definition of temperature. 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. "Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat", published by Carnot in French in 1824, the year of Lord Kelvin's birth, used −267 as an estimate of the absolute zero temperature. Thomson used data published by Regnault to calibrate his scale against established measurements.

In his publication, Thomson wrote:

... The conversion of heat (or caloric) into mechanical effect is probably impossible, certainly undiscovered

—But a footnote signalled his first doubts about the caloric theory, referring to Joule's very remarkable discoveries. Surprisingly, Thomson did not send Joule a copy of his paper, but when Joule eventually read it he wrote to Thomson on 6 October, claiming that his studies had demonstrated conversion of heat into work but that he was planning further experiments. Thomson replied on 27 October, revealing that he was planning his own experiments and hoping for a reconciliation of their two views.

Thomson returned to critique Carnot's original publication and read his analysis to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in January 1849, still convinced that the theory was fundamentally sound. However, though Thomson conducted no new experiments, over the next two years he became increasingly dissatisfied with Carnot's theory and convinced of Joule's. In February 1851 he sat down to articulate his new thinking. He was uncertain of how to frame his theory and the paper went through several drafts before he settled on an attempt to reconcile Carnot and Joule. During his rewriting, he seems to have considered ideas that would subsequently give rise to the second law of thermodynamics. In Carnot's theory, lost heat was absolutely lost but Thomson contended that it was "lost to man irrecoverably; but not lost in the material world". Moreover, his theological beliefs led Thompson to extrapolate the second law to the cosmos, originating the idea of universal heat death.

I believe the tendency in the material world is for motion to become diffused, and that as a whole the reverse of concentration is gradually going on – I believe that no physical action can ever restore the heat emitted from the Sun, and that this source is not inexhaustible; also that the motions of the Earth and other planets are losing vis viva which is converted into heat; and that although some vis viva may be restored for instance to the earth by heat received from the sun, or by other means, that the loss cannot be precisely compensated and I think it probable that it is under-compensated.

Compensation would require a creative act or an act possessing similar power, resulting in a rejuvenating universe (as Thompson had previously compared universal heat death to a clock running slower and slower, although he was unsure whether it would eventually reach thermodynamic equilibrium and stop for ever). Kelvin also formulated the heat death paradox (Kelvin’s paradox) in 1862, which uses the second law of thermodynamics to disprove the possibility of an infinitely old universe; this paradox was later extended by Rankine.

In final publication, Thomson retreated from a radical departure and declared "the whole theory of the motive power of heat is founded on ... two ... propositions, due respectively to Joule, and to Carnot and Clausius." Thomson went on to state a form of the second law:

It is impossible, by means of inanimate material agency, to derive mechanical effect from any portion of matter by cooling it below the temperature of the coldest of the surrounding objects.

In the paper, Thomson supported the theory that heat was a form of motion but admitted that he had been influenced only by the thought of Sir Humphry Davy and the experiments of Joule and Julius Robert von Mayer, maintaining that experimental demonstration of the conversion of heat into work was still outstanding.

As soon as Joule read the paper he wrote to Thomson with his comments and questions. Thus began a fruitful, though largely epistolary, collaboration between the two men, Joule conducting experiments, Thomson analysing the results and suggesting further experiments. 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.

Thomson published more than 650 scientific papers and applied for 70 patents (not all were issued). Regarding science, Thomson wrote the following:

In physical science a first essential step in the direction of learning any subject is to find principles of numerical reckoning and practicable methods for measuring some quality connected with it. I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about and express it in numbers you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind: it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be.

Calculations on data rate

To understand the technical issues in which Thomson became involved, see Submarine communications cable: Bandwidth problems.

Though now eminent in the academic field, Thomson was obscure to the general public. In September 1852, he married childhood sweetheart Margaret Crum, daughter of Walter Crum; but her health broke down on their honeymoon, and over the next 17 years, Thomson was distracted by her suffering. On 16 October 1854, George Gabriel Stokes wrote to Thomson to try to re-interest him in work by asking his opinion on some experiments of Michael Faraday on the proposed transatlantic telegraph cable.

Faraday had demonstrated how the construction of a cable would limit the rate at which messages could be sent – in modern terms, the bandwidth. Thomson jumped at the problem and published his response that month. He expressed his results in terms of the data rate that could be achieved and the economic consequences in terms of the potential revenue of the transatlantic undertaking. In a further 1855 analysis, Thomson stressed the impact that the design of the cable would have on its profitability.

Thomson contended that the signalling speed through a given cable was inversely proportional to the square of the length of the cable. Thomson's results were disputed at a meeting of the British Association in 1856 by Wildman Whitehouse, the electrician of the Atlantic Telegraph Company. Whitehouse had possibly misinterpreted the results of his own experiments but was doubtless feeling financial pressure as plans for the cable were already well under way. He believed that Thomson's calculations implied that the cable must be "abandoned as being practically and commercially impossible".

Thomson attacked Whitehouse's contention in a letter to the popular Athenaeum magazine, pitching himself into the public eye. Thomson recommended a larger conductor with a larger cross section of insulation. He thought Whitehouse no fool, and suspected that he might have the practical skill to make the existing design work. Thomson's work had attracted the attention of the project's undertakers. In December 1856, he was elected to the board of directors of the Atlantic Telegraph Company.

Scientist to engineer

Thomson became scientific adviser to a team with Whitehouse as chief electrician and Sir Charles Tilston Bright as chief engineer but Whitehouse had his way with the specification, supported by Faraday and Samuel F. B. Morse.

William Thomson's telegraphic syphon recorder, on display at Porthcurno Telegraph Museum, in January 2019.

Thomson sailed on board the cable-laying ship HMS Agamemnon in August 1857, with Whitehouse confined to land owing to illness, but the voyage ended after 380 miles (610 km) when the cable parted. Thomson contributed to the effort by publishing in the Engineer the whole theory of the stresses involved in the laying of a submarine cable, and showed that when the line is running out of the ship, at a constant speed, in a uniform depth of water, it sinks in a slant or straight incline from the point where it enters the water to that where it touches the bottom.

Thomson developed a complete system for operating a submarine telegraph that was capable of sending a character every 3.5 seconds. He patented the key elements of his system, the mirror galvanometer and the siphon recorder, in 1858.

Whitehouse still felt able to ignore Thomson's many suggestions and proposals. It was not until Thomson convinced the board that using purer copper for replacing the lost section of cable would improve data capacity, that he first made a difference to the execution of the project.

The board insisted that Thomson join the 1858 cable-laying expedition, without any financial compensation, and take an active part in the project. In return, Thomson secured a trial for his mirror galvanometer, which the board had been unenthusiastic about, alongside Whitehouse's equipment. Thomson found the access he was given unsatisfactory and the Agamemnon had to return home following the disastrous storm of June 1858. In London, the board was about to abandon the project and mitigate their losses by selling the cable. Thomson, Cyrus West Field and Curtis M. Lampson argued for another attempt and prevailed, Thomson insisting that the technical problems were tractable. Though employed in an advisory capacity, Thomson had, during the voyages, developed a real engineer's instincts and skill at practical problem-solving under pressure, often taking the lead in dealing with emergencies and being unafraid to assist in manual work. A cable was completed on 5 August.

Disaster and triumph

Thomson's fears were realized when Whitehouse's apparatus proved insufficiently sensitive and had to be replaced by Thomson's mirror galvanometer. Whitehouse continued to maintain that it was his equipment that was providing the service and started to engage in desperate measures to remedy some of the problems. He succeeded in fatally damaging the cable by applying 2,000 V. When the cable failed completely Whitehouse was dismissed, though Thomson objected and was reprimanded by the board for his interference. Thomson subsequently regretted that he had acquiesced too readily to many of Whitehouse's proposals and had not challenged him with sufficient vigour.

A joint committee of inquiry was established by the Board of Trade and the Atlantic Telegraph Company. Most of the blame for the cable's failure was found to rest with Whitehouse. The committee found that, though underwater cables were notorious in their lack of reliability, most of the problems arose from known and avoidable causes. Thomson was appointed one of a five-member committee to recommend a specification for a new cable. The committee reported in October 1863.

In July 1865, Thomson sailed on the cable-laying expedition of the SS Great Eastern but the voyage was dogged by technical problems. The cable was lost after 1,200 miles (1,900 km) had been laid and the project was abandoned. A further attempt in 1866 laid a new cable in two weeks, and then recovered and completed the 1865 cable. The enterprise was now feted as a triumph by the public and Thomson enjoyed a large share of the adulation. Thomson, along with the other principals of the project, was knighted on 10 November 1866.

To exploit his inventions for signalling on long submarine cables, Thomson now entered into a partnership with C. F. Varley and Fleeming Jenkin. In conjunction with the latter, he also devised an automatic curb sender, a kind of telegraph key for sending messages on a cable.

Later expeditions

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. He was present at the laying of the Pará to Pernambuco section of the Brazilian coast cables in 1873.

Thomson's wife, Margaret, died on 17 June 1870, and he resolved to make changes in his life. Already addicted to seafaring, in September he purchased a 126-ton schooner, the Lalla Rookh and used it as a base for entertaining friends and scientific colleagues. His maritime interests continued in 1871 when he was appointed to the Board of Enquiry into the sinking of HMS Captain.

In June 1873, Thomson and Jenkin were on board the Hooper, bound for Lisbon with 2,500 miles (4,020 km) of cable when the cable developed a fault. An unscheduled 16-day stop-over in Madeira followed and Thomson became good friends with Charles R. Blandy and his three daughters. On 2 May 1874 he set sail for Madeira on the Lalla Rookh. As he approached the harbour, he signaled to the Blandy residence "Will you marry me?" and Fanny (Blandy's daughter Frances Anna Blandy) signaled back "Yes". Thomson married Fanny, 13 years his junior, on 24 June 1874.

Lord Kelvin by Hubert von Herkomer

Thomson and Tait: Treatise on Natural Philosophy

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. The text developed dynamics in various areas but with constant attention to energy as a unifying principle.

A second edition appeared in 1879, expanded to two separately bound parts. The textbook set a standard for early education in mathematical physics.

Atmospheric electricity

Kelvin made significant contributions to atmospheric electricity for the relatively short time for which he worked on the subject, around 1859. He developed several instruments for measuring the atmospheric electric field, using some of the electrometers he had initially developed for telegraph work, which he tested at Glasgow and whilst on holiday on Arran. His measurements on Arran were sufficiently rigorous and well-calibrated that they could be used to deduce air pollution from the Glasgow area, through its effects on the atmospheric electric field. Kelvin's water dropper electrometer was used for measuring the atmospheric electric field at Kew Observatory and Eskdalemuir Observatory for many years, and one was still in use operationally at Kakioka Observatory in Japan until early 2021. Kelvin may have unwittingly observed atmospheric electrical effects caused by the Carrington event (a significant geomagnetic storm) in early September 1859.

Kelvin's vortex theory of the atom

Between 1870 and 1890 the vortex atom theory, which purported that an atom was a vortex in the aether, was popular among British physicists and mathematicians. Thomson pioneered the theory, which was distinct from the seventeenth century vortex theory of Descartes in that Thomson was thinking in terms of a unitary continuum theory, whereas Descartes was thinking in terms of three different types of matter, each relating respectively to emission, transmission, and reflection of light. About 60 scientific papers were written by approximately 25 scientists. Following the lead of Thomson and Tait, the branch of topology called knot theory was developed. Kelvin's initiative in this complex study that continues to inspire new mathematics has led to persistence of the topic in history of science.

Marine

Thomson was an enthusiastic yachtsman, his interest in all things relating to the sea perhaps arising from, or fostered by, his experiences on the Agamemnon and the Great Eastern.

Thomson introduced a method of deep-sea depth sounding, in which a steel piano wire replaces the ordinary hand line. The wire glides so easily to the bottom that "flying soundings" can be taken while the ship is at full speed. A pressure gauge to register the depth of the sinker was added by Thomson.

About the same time he revived the Sumner method of finding a ship's position, and calculated a set of tables for its ready application.

During the 1880s, Thomson worked to perfect the adjustable compass to correct errors arising from magnetic deviation owing to the increased use of iron in naval architecture. Thomson's design was a great improvement on the older instruments, being steadier and less hampered by friction. The deviation due to the ship's magnetism was corrected by movable iron masses at the binnacle. Thomson's innovations involved much detailed work to develop principles identified by George Biddell Airy and others, but contributed little in terms of novel physical thinking. Thomson's energetic lobbying and networking proved effective in gaining acceptance of his instrument by The Admiralty.

Kelvin Mariner's Compass

Scientific biographers of Thomson, if they have paid any attention at all to his compass innovations, have generally taken the matter to be a sorry saga of dim-witted naval administrators resisting marvellous innovations from a superlative scientific mind. Writers sympathetic to the Navy, on the other hand, portray Thomson as a man of undoubted talent and enthusiasm, with some genuine knowledge of the sea, who managed to parlay a handful of modest ideas in compass design into a commercial monopoly for his own manufacturing concern, using his reputation as a bludgeon in the law courts to beat down even small claims of originality from others, and persuading the Admiralty and the law to overlook both the deficiencies of his own design and the virtues of his competitors'.


The truth, inevitably, seems to lie somewhere between the two extremes.

Charles Babbage had been among the first to suggest that a lighthouse might be made to signal a distinctive number by occultations of its light, but Thomson pointed out the merits of the Morse code for the purpose, and urged that the signals should consist of short and long flashes of the light to represent the dots and dashes.

Electrical standards

Thomson did more than any other electrician up to his time in introducing accurate methods and apparatus for measuring electricity. As early as 1845 he pointed out that the experimental results of William Snow Harris were in accordance with the laws of Coulomb. In the Memoirs of the Roman Academy of Sciences for 1857 he published a description of his new divided ring electrometer, based on the old electroscope of Johann Gottlieb Friedrich von Bohnenberger and he introduced a chain or series of effective instruments, including the quadrant electrometer, which cover the entire field of electrostatic measurement. He invented the current balance, also known as the Kelvin balance or Ampere balance (SiC), for the precise specification of the ampere, the standard unit of electric current. From around 1880 he was aided by the electrical engineer Magnus Maclean FRSE in his electrical experiments.

In 1893, Thomson headed an international commission to decide on the design of the Niagara Falls power station. Despite his belief in the superiority of direct current electric power transmission, he endorsed Westinghouse's alternating current system which had been demonstrated at the Chicago World's Fair of that year. Even after Niagara Falls Thomson still held to his belief that direct current was the superior system.

Acknowledging his contribution to electrical standardisation, the International Electrotechnical Commission elected Thomson as its first President at its preliminary meeting, held in London on 26–27 June 1906. "On the proposal of the President [Mr Alexander Siemens, Great Britain], secounded [sic] by Mr Mailloux [US Institute of Electrical Engineers] the Right Honorable Lord Kelvin, G.C.V.O., O.M., was unanimously elected first President of the Commission", minutes of the Preliminary Meeting Report read.

Age of the Earth: geology

Kelvin caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair, 1897

Kelvin estimated the age of the Earth. Given his youthful work on the figure of the Earth and his interest in heat conduction, it is no surprise that he chose to investigate the Earth's cooling and to make historical inferences of the Earth's age from his calculations. Thomson was a creationist in a broad sense, but he was not a 'flood geologist' (a view that had lost mainstream scientific support by the 1840s). He contended that the laws of thermodynamics operated from the birth of the universe and envisaged a dynamic process that saw the organisation and evolution of the Solar System and other structures, followed by a gradual "heat death". He developed the view that the Earth had once been too hot to support life and contrasted this view with that of uniformitarianism, that conditions had remained constant since the indefinite past. He contended that "This earth, certainly a moderate number of millions of years ago, was a red-hot globe … ."

After the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species in 1859, Thomson saw evidence of the relatively short habitable age of the Earth as tending to contradict Darwin's gradualist explanation of slow natural selection bringing about biological diversity. Thomson's own views favoured a version of theistic evolution sped up by divine guidance. His calculations showed that the Sun could not have possibly existed long enough to allow the slow incremental development by evolution – unless some energy source beyond what he or any other Victorian era person knew of was found. He was soon drawn into public disagreement with geologists, Kelvin did pay off gentleman's bet with Strutt on the importance of radioactivity in the Earth. The Kelvin period does exist in the evolution of stars. They shine from gravitational energy for a while (correctly calculated by Kelvin) before fusion and the main sequence begins. Fusion was not understood until well after Kelvin's time. and with Darwin's supporters John Tyndall and T. H. Huxley. In his response to Huxley's address to the Geological Society of London (1868) he presented his address "Of Geological Dynamics" (1869) which, among his other writings, challenged the geologists' acceptance that the earth must be of indefinite age.

Thomson's initial 1864 estimate of the Earth's age was from 20 to 400 million years old. These wide limits were due to his uncertainty about the melting temperature of rock, to which he equated the Earth's interior temperature, as well as the uncertainty in thermal conductivities and specific heats of rocks. Over the years he refined his arguments and reduced the upper bound by a factor of ten, and in 1897 Thomson, now Lord Kelvin, ultimately settled on an estimate that the Earth was 20–40 million years old. In a letter published in Scientific American Supplement 1895 Kelvin criticized geologists' estimates of the age of rocks and the age of the earth, including the views published by Charles Darwin, as "vaguely vast age".

His exploration of this estimate can be found in his 1897 address to the Victoria Institute, given at the request of the Institute's president George Stokes, as recorded in that Institute's journal Transactions. Although his former assistant John Perry published a paper in 1895 challenging Kelvin's assumption of low thermal conductivity inside the Earth, and thus showing a much greater age, this had little immediate impact. The discovery in 1903 that radioactive decay releases heat led to Kelvin's estimate being challenged, and Ernest Rutherford famously made the argument in a 1904 lecture attended by Kelvin that this provided the unknown energy source Kelvin had suggested, but the estimate was not overturned until the development in 1907 of radiometric dating of rocks.

It was widely believed that the discovery of radioactivity had invalidated Thomson's estimate of the age of the Earth. Thomson himself never publicly acknowledged this because he thought he had a much stronger argument restricting the age of the Sun to no more than 20 million years. Without sunlight, there could be no explanation for the sediment record on the Earth's surface. At the time, the only known source for the solar power output was gravitational collapse. It was only when thermonuclear fusion was recognised in the 1930s that Thomson's age paradox was truly resolved.

Kelvin on a pleasure cruise on the River Clyde aboard the steamer Glen Sannox for his 17 June 1896 "jubilee" as Professor of Natural Philosophy at Glasgow
Lord Kelvin and Lady Kelvin hosting Norwegians Fridtjof Nansen and Eva Nansen visiting at their house in February 1897
The grave of the Thomson family, Glasgow Necropolis

In the winter of 1860–1861 Kelvin slipped on the ice while curling near his home at Netherhall and fractured his leg, causing him to miss the 1861 Manchester meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and to limp thereafter. He remained something of a celebrity on both sides of the Atlantic until his death.

Thomson remained a devout believer in Christianity throughout his life; attendance at chapel was part of his daily routine. He saw his Christian faith as supporting and informing his scientific work, as is evident from his address to the annual meeting of the Christian Evidence Society, 23 May 1889.

In the 1902 Coronation Honours list published on 26 June 1902 (the original day of the coronation of Edward VII and Alexandra), Kelvin was appointed a Privy Councillor and one of the first members of the new Order of Merit (OM). He received the order from the King on 8 August 1902, and was sworn a member of the council at Buckingham Palace on 11 August 1902. In his later years he often travelled to his town house at 15 Eaton Place, off Eaton Square in London's Belgravia.

In November 1907 he caught a chill and his condition deteriorated until he died at his Scottish country seat, Netherhall, in Largs on 17 December.

At the request of Westminster Abbey, the undertakers Wylie & Lochhead prepared an oak coffin, lined with lead. In the dark of the winter evening the cortege set off from Netherhall for Largs railway station, a distance of about a mile. Large crowds witnessed the passing of the cortege, and shopkeepers closed their premises and dimmed their lights. The coffin was placed in a special Midland and Glasgow and South Western Railway van. The train set off at 8.30 pm for Kilmarnock, where the van was attached to the overnight express to St Pancras railway station in London.

Kelvin's funeral was to be held on 23 December 1907. The coffin was taken from St Pancras by hearse to Westminster Abbey, where it rested overnight in St Faith's Chapel. The following day the Abbey was crowded for the funeral, including representatives from the University of Glasgow and the University of Cambridge, along with representatives from France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Russia, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Monaco. Kelvin's grave is in the nave, near the choir screen, and close to the graves of Isaac Newton, John Herschel, and Charles Darwin. The pall-bearers included Darwin's son, Sir George Darwin.

Back in Scotland the University of Glasgow held a memorial service for Kelvin in the Bute Hall. Kelvin had been a member of the Scottish Episcopal Church, attached to St Columba's Episcopal Church in Largs, and when in Glasgow to St Mary's Episcopal Church (now, St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow). At the same time as the funeral in Westminster Abbey, a service was held in St Columba's Episcopal Church, Largs, attended by a large congregation including burgh dignitaries.

William Thomson is also memorialised on the Thomson family grave in Glasgow Necropolis. The family grave has a second modern memorial to William alongside, erected by the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow; a society of which he was president in the periods 1856–1858 and 1874–1877.

Limits of classical physics

In 1884, Thomson led a master class on "Molecular Dynamics and the Wave Theory of Light" at Johns Hopkins University. Kelvin referred to the acoustic wave equation describing sound as waves of pressure in air and attempted to describe also an electromagnetic wave equation, presuming a luminiferous aether susceptible to vibration. The study group included Michelson and Morley who subsequently performed the Michelson–Morley experiment that undercut the aether theory. Thomson did not provide a text but A. S. Hathaway took notes and duplicated them with a Papyrograph. As the subject matter was under active development, Thomson amended that text and in 1904 it was typeset and published. Thomson's attempts to provide mechanical models ultimately failed in the electromagnetic regime. Starting from his lecture in 1884, Kelvin was also the first scientist to formulate the hypothetical concept of dark matter; he then attempted to define and locate some “dark bodies” in the Milky Way.

On 27 April 1900 he gave a widely reported lecture titled Nineteenth-Century Clouds over the Dynamical Theory of Heat and Light to the Royal Institution. The two "dark clouds" he was alluding to were confusion surrounding how matter moves through the aether (including the puzzling results of the Michelson–Morley experiment) and indications that the Law of Equipartition in statistical mechanics might break down. Two major physical theories were developed during the twentieth century starting from these issues: for the former, the theory of relativity; for the second, quantum mechanics. Albert Einstein, in 1905, published the so-called "Annus Mirabilis papers", one of which explained the photoelectric effect, based on Max Planck's discovery of energy quanta which was the foundation of quantum mechanics, another of which described special relativity, and the last of which explained Brownian motion in terms of statistical mechanics, providing a strong argument for the existence of atoms.

Pronouncements later proven to be false

Like many scientists, Thomson made some mistakes in predicting the future of technology.

His biographer Silvanus P. Thompson writes that "When Röntgen's discovery of the X-rays was announced at the end of 1895, Lord Kelvin was entirely skeptical, and regarded the announcement as a hoax. The papers had been full of the wonders of Röntgen's rays, about which Lord Kelvin was intensely skeptical until Röntgen himself sent him a copy of his Memoir"; on 17 January 1896, having read the paper and seen the photographs, he wrote Röntgen a letter saying that "I need not tell you that when I read the paper I was very much astonished and delighted. I can say no more now than to congratulate you warmly on the great discovery you have made" He would have his own hand X-rayed in May 1896. (See also N rays.)

His forecast for practical aviation (i.e., heavier-than-air aircraft) was negative. In 1896 he refused an invitation to join the Aeronautical Society, writing that "I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other than ballooning or of expectation of good results from any of the trials we hear of." And in a 1902 newspaper interview he predicted that "No balloon and no aeroplane will ever be practically successful."

The statement "There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement" has been widely misattributed to Kelvin since the 1980s, either without citation or stating that it was made in an address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1900). There is no evidence that Kelvin said this, and the quote is instead a paraphrase of Albert A. Michelson, who in 1894 stated: "… it seems probable that most of the grand underlying principles have been firmly established … An eminent physicist remarked that the future truths of physical science are to be looked for in the sixth place of decimals." Similar statements were given earlier by others, such as Philipp von Jolly. The attribution to Kelvin giving an address in 1900 is presumably a confusion with his "Two clouds" speech, delivered to the Royal Institution in 1900 (see above), and which on the contrary pointed out areas that would subsequently see revolutions.

In 1898, Kelvin predicted that only 400 years of oxygen supply remained on the planet, due to the rate of burning combustibles. In his calculation, Kelvin assumed that photosynthesis was the only source of free oxygen; he did not know all of the components of the oxygen cycle.[dubiousdiscuss] He could not even have known all of the sources of photosynthesis: for example the cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus—which accounts for more than half of marine photosynthesis—was not discovered until 1986.

Eponyms

A variety of physical phenomena and concepts with which Thomson is associated are named Kelvin, including:

Honours

Statue of Kelvin; Belfast Botanic Gardens

Arms

Coat of arms of William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin
Notes
The arms of Lord Kelvin consist of:
Crest
A cubit arm erect, vested azure, cuffed argent, the hand grasping five ears of rye proper.
Escutcheon
Argent, a stag's head caboshed gules, on a chief azure a thunderbolt proper, winged or, between two spur revels of the first.
Supporters
On the dexter side a student of the University of Glasgow, habited, holding in his dexter hand a marine voltmeter, all proper. On the sinister side a sailor, habited, holding in the dexter hand a coil, the rope passing through the sinister, and suspended therefrom a sinker of a sounding machine, also all proper.
Motto
Honesty without fear.
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Kelvin's works

Biography, history of ideas and criticism

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Professional and academic associations
Preceded by 36th President of the Royal Society
1890–1895
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by Chancellor of the University of Glasgow
1904–1907
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Kelvin
1892–1907
Extinct

William Thomson 1st Baron Kelvin Article Talk Language Watch Edit William Thomson 1st Baron Kelvin OM GCVO PC PRS FRSE 26 June 1824 17 December 1907 7 was a British mathematician mathematical physicist and engineer born in Belfast 8 Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow for 53 years 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 contemporary form He received the Royal Society s Copley Medal in 1883 was its President 1890 1895 and in 1892 was the first British scientist to be elevated to the House of Lords 2 The Right HonourableThe Lord KelvinOM GCVO PC PRS FRSEPresident of the Royal SocietyIn office 1 December 1890 30 November 1895Preceded bySir George StokesSucceeded byThe Lord ListerPersonal detailsBorn 1824 06 26 26 June 1824 Belfast IrelandDied17 December 1907 1907 12 17 aged 83 Largs ScotlandNationalityBritish 1 2 Political partyLiberal 1865 1886 Liberal Unionist from 1886 Spouse s Margaret Crum m 1852 died 1870 wbr Frances Blandy m 1874 1907 wbr 3 ChildrenNone 4 SignatureAlma materRoyal Belfast Academical InstitutionGlasgow UniversityPeterhouse CambridgeKnown forJoule Thomson effect Joule Thomson ideal gas coefficient Voigt Thomson law Thomson effect thermoelectric Kelvin balance Kelvin s balls Kelvin cat s eye pattern Kelvin coupling Kelvin s mirror galvanometer Kelvin material Kelvin water dropper Kelvin wave Kelvin Helmholtz instability Kelvin Helmholtz mechanism Kelvin Helmholtz luminosity Kelvin Planck statement Kelvin s heat death paradox Kelvin Helmholtz time scale Kelvin s minimum energy theorem Kelvin conjecture Kelvin structure Kelvin foam Kelvin functions Kelvin transform Kelvin s circulation theorem Kelvin Stokes theorem Kelvin bridge Kelvin sensing Kelvin equation Kelvin Varley divider Kelvin wake pattern Kelvin angle Zero Kelvin Kelvin probe force microscope Kelvin scanning probe Automatic curb sender Cable theory Dark night sky paradox Earth s age paradox Depth sounding Dissipation Gyrostat Law of squares First law of thermodynamics Second law of thermodynamics Entropy Heat death of the universe Magnetic vector potential Magnetoresistance Maxwell s demon Piezoresistive effect Siphon recorder Stationary phase approximation Dark matter Tide predicting machine Vortex theory of the atom Coining the term chirality Coining the term thermodynamics 5 Coining the term kinetic energyAwardsFirst Smith s Prize 1845 Royal Medal 1856 Keith Medal 1864 Matteucci Medal 1876 Albert Medal 1879 Copley Medal 1883 John Fritz Medal 1905 Scientific careerInstitutionsUniversity of GlasgowAcademic advisorsWilliam HopkinsNotable studentsLord Rayleigh 6 William Edward AyrtonInfluencesSadi CarnotRudolf ClausiusJulius von MayerJames JouleHumphry DavyInfluencedAndrew GrayIt is believed the PNP in his signature stands for Professor of Natural Philosophy Note that Kelvin also wrote under the pseudonym P Q R Absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in his honour 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 degrees Celsius or 459 67 degrees Fahrenheit The Joule Thomson effect is also named in his honour 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 1866 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 He was ennobled in 1892 in recognition of his achievements in thermodynamics and of his opposition to Irish Home Rule 9 10 11 becoming Baron Kelvin of Largs in the County of Ayr The title refers to the River Kelvin which flows near his laboratory at the University of Glasgow s Gilmorehill home at Hillhead Despite offers of elevated posts from several world renowned universities Kelvin refused to leave Glasgow remaining until his eventual retirement from that post in 1899 7 Active in industrial research and development he was recruited around 1899 by George Eastman to serve as vice chairman of the board of the British company Kodak Limited affiliated with Eastman Kodak 12 In 1904 he became Chancellor of the University of Glasgow 7 His home was the red sandstone mansion Netherhall in Largs which he built in the 1870s and where he died 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 artefacts such as his smoking pipe Contents 1 Early life and work 1 1 Family 1 2 Youth 1 3 Cambridge 1 4 Thermodynamics 2 Transatlantic cable 2 1 Calculations on data rate 2 2 Scientist to engineer 2 3 Disaster and triumph 2 4 Later expeditions 3 Other contributions 3 1 Thomson and Tait Treatise on Natural Philosophy 3 2 Atmospheric electricity 3 3 Kelvin s vortex theory of the atom 3 4 Marine 3 5 Electrical standards 3 6 Age of the Earth geology 4 Later life and death 5 Aftermath and legacy 5 1 Limits of classical physics 5 2 Pronouncements later proven to be false 5 3 Eponyms 5 4 Honours 5 5 Arms 6 See also 7 References 7 1 Kelvin s works 7 2 Biography history of ideas and criticism 8 External linksEarly life and work EditFamily Edit Thomson family tree James Thomson mathematician James Thomson engineer and William Thomson were all professors at the University of Glasgow the later two through their association with William Rankine another Glasgow professor worked to form one of the founding schools of thermodynamics 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 married Margaret Gardner in 1817 and of their children four boys and two girls survived infancy Margaret Thomson died in 1830 when William was six years old 13 William and his elder brother James were tutored at home by their father while the younger boys were tutored by their elder sisters James was intended to benefit from the major share of his father s encouragement affection and financial support and was prepared for a career in engineering In 1832 his father was appointed professor of mathematics at Glasgow and the family moved there in October 1833 The Thomson children were introduced to a broader cosmopolitan experience than their father s rural upbringing spending mid 1839 in London and the boys were tutored in French in Paris Much of Thomson s life during the mid 1840s was spent in Germany and the Netherlands Language study was given a high priority His sister Anna Thomson was the mother of James Thomson Bottomley FRSE 1845 1926 14 Youth Edit This section needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed Find sources William Thomson 1st Baron Kelvin news newspapers books scholar JSTOR December 2017 Learn how and when to remove this template message Thomson had heart problems and nearly died when he was 9 years old He attended the Royal Belfast Academical Institution where his father was a professor in the university department In 1834 aged 10 he began studying at the University of Glasgow not out of any precociousness the University provided many of the facilities of an elementary school for able pupils and this was a typical starting age In school Thomson showed a keen interest in the classics along with his natural interest in the sciences At the age of 12 he won a prize for translating Lucian of Samosata s Dialogues of the Gods from Latin to English In the academic year 1839 1840 Thomson won the class prize in astronomy for his Essay on the figure of the Earth which showed an early facility for mathematical analysis and creativity His physics tutor at this time was his namesake David Thomson 15 Throughout his life he would work on the problems raised in the essay as a coping strategy during times of personal stress On the title page of this essay Thomson wrote the following lines from Alexander Pope s Essay on Man These lines inspired Thomson to understand the natural world using the power and method of science Go wondrous creature mount where Science guides Go measure earth weigh air and state the tides Instruct the planets in what orbs to run Correct old Time and regulate the sun Thomson became intrigued with Fourier s Theorie analytique de la chaleur and committed himself to study the Continental mathematics resisted by a British establishment still working in the shadow of Sir Isaac Newton Unsurprisingly Fourier s work had been attacked by domestic mathematicians Philip Kelland authoring a critical book The book motivated Thomson to write his first published scientific paper 16 under the pseudonym P Q R defending Fourier and submitted to the Cambridge Mathematical Journal by his father A second P Q R paper followed almost immediately 17 While on holiday with his family in Lamlash in 1841 he wrote a third more substantial P Q R paper On the uniform motion of heat in homogeneous solid bodies and its connection with the mathematical theory of electricity 18 In the paper he made remarkable connections between the mathematical theories of heat conduction and electrostatics an analogy that James Clerk Maxwell was ultimately to describe as one of the most valuable science forming ideas 19 William Thomson aged 22 The meander of the River Kelvin containing the Neo Gothic Gilmorehill campus of the University of Glasgow designed by George Gilbert Scott to which the university moved in the 1870s photograph 1890s Cambridge Edit 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 While at Cambridge Thomson was active in sports athletics and sculling winning the Colquhoun Sculls in 1843 20 He also took a lively interest in the classics music and literature but the real love of his intellectual life was the pursuit of science The study of mathematics physics and in particular of electricity had captivated his imagination In 1845 Thomson graduated as Second Wrangler 21 He also won the First Smith s Prize which unlike the tripos is a test of original research Robert Leslie Ellis one of the examiners is said to have declared to another examiner You and I are just about fit to mend his pens 22 In 1845 he gave the first mathematical development of Michael Faraday s idea that electric induction takes place through an intervening medium or dielectric and not by some incomprehensible action at a distance He also devised the mathematical technique of electrical images which became a powerful agent in solving problems of electrostatics the science which deals with the forces between electrically charged bodies at rest It was partly in response to his encouragement that Faraday undertook the research in September 1845 that led to the discovery of the Faraday effect which established that light and magnetic and thus electric phenomena were related He was elected a fellow of St Peter s as Peterhouse was often called at the time in June 1845 23 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 At twenty two he found himself wearing the gown of a professor in one of the oldest Universities in the country and lecturing to the class of which he was a first year student a few years before Thermodynamics Edit 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 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 Emile Clapeyron Joule argued for the mutual convertibility of heat and mechanical work and for their mechanical equivalence Thomson was intrigued but sceptical Though he felt that Joule s results demanded theoretical explanation he retreated into an even deeper commitment to the Carnot Clapeyron school He predicted that the melting point of ice must fall with pressure otherwise its expansion on freezing could be exploited in a perpetuum mobile Experimental confirmation in his laboratory did much to bolster his beliefs In 1848 he extended the Carnot Clapeyron theory further through his dissatisfaction that the gas thermometer provided only an operational definition of temperature He proposed an absolute temperature scale 24 in which a unit of heat descending from a body A at the temperatureT 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 25 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 Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat published by Carnot in French in 1824 the year of Lord Kelvin s birth used 267 as an estimate of the absolute zero temperature Thomson used data published by Regnault to calibrate his scale against established measurements In his publication Thomson wrote The conversion of heat or caloric into mechanical effect is probably impossible certainly undiscovered But a footnote signalled his first doubts about the caloric theory referring to Joule s very remarkable discoveries Surprisingly Thomson did not send Joule a copy of his paper but when Joule eventually read it he wrote to Thomson on 6 October claiming that his studies had demonstrated conversion of heat into work but that he was planning further experiments Thomson replied on 27 October revealing that he was planning his own experiments and hoping for a reconciliation of their two views Thomson returned to critique Carnot s original publication and read his analysis to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in January 1849 26 still convinced that the theory was fundamentally sound However though Thomson conducted no new experiments over the next two years he became increasingly dissatisfied with Carnot s theory and convinced of Joule s In February 1851 he sat down to articulate his new thinking He was uncertain of how to frame his theory and the paper went through several drafts before he settled on an attempt to reconcile Carnot and Joule During his rewriting he seems to have considered ideas that would subsequently give rise to the second law of thermodynamics In Carnot s theory lost heat was absolutely lost but Thomson contended that it was lost to man irrecoverably but not lost in the material world Moreover his theological beliefs led Thompson to extrapolate the second law to the cosmos originating the idea of universal heat death I believe the tendency in the material world is for motion to become diffused and that as a whole the reverse of concentration is gradually going on I believe that no physical action can ever restore the heat emitted from the Sun and that this source is not inexhaustible also that the motions of the Earth and other planets are losing vis viva which is converted into heat and that although some vis viva may be restored for instance to the earth by heat received from the sun or by other means that the loss cannot be precisely compensated and I think it probable that it is under compensated 27 Compensation would require a creative act or an act possessing similar power 27 resulting in a rejuvenating universe as Thompson had previously compared universal heat death to a clock running slower and slower although he was unsure whether it would eventually reach thermodynamic equilibrium and stop for ever 28 Kelvin also formulated the heat death paradox Kelvin s paradox in 1862 which uses the second law of thermodynamics to disprove the possibility of an infinitely old universe this paradox was later extended by Rankine 29 In final publication Thomson retreated from a radical departure and declared the whole theory of the motive power of heat is founded on two propositions due respectively to Joule and to Carnot and Clausius 30 Thomson went on to state a form of the second law It is impossible by means of inanimate material agency to derive mechanical effect from any portion of matter by cooling it below the temperature of the coldest of the surrounding objects 31 In the paper Thomson supported the theory that heat was a form of motion but admitted that he had been influenced only by the thought of Sir Humphry Davy and the experiments of Joule and Julius Robert von Mayer maintaining that experimental demonstration of the conversion of heat into work was still outstanding 32 As soon as Joule read the paper he wrote to Thomson with his comments and questions Thus began a fruitful though largely epistolary collaboration between the two men Joule conducting experiments Thomson analysing the results and suggesting further experiments The collaboration lasted from 1852 to 1856 its discoveries including the Joule Thomson effect sometimes called the Kelvin Joule effect and the published results 33 did much to bring about general acceptance of Joule s work and the kinetic theory Thomson published more than 650 scientific papers 34 and applied for 70 patents not all were issued Regarding science Thomson wrote the following In physical science a first essential step in the direction of learning any subject is to find principles of numerical reckoning and practicable methods for measuring some quality connected with it I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about and express it in numbers you know something about it but when you cannot measure it when you cannot express it in numbers your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind it may be the beginning of knowledge but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science whatever the matter may be 35 Transatlantic cable EditCalculations on data rate Edit To understand the technical issues in which Thomson became involved see Submarine communications cable Bandwidth problems Though now eminent in the academic field Thomson was obscure to the general public In September 1852 he married childhood sweetheart Margaret Crum daughter of Walter Crum 7 but her health broke down on their honeymoon and over the next 17 years Thomson was distracted by her suffering On 16 October 1854 George Gabriel Stokes wrote to Thomson to try to re interest him in work by asking his opinion on some experiments of Michael Faraday on the proposed transatlantic telegraph cable Faraday had demonstrated how the construction of a cable would limit the rate at which messages could be sent in modern terms the bandwidth Thomson jumped at the problem and published his response that month 36 He expressed his results in terms of the data rate that could be achieved and the economic consequences in terms of the potential revenue of the transatlantic undertaking In a further 1855 analysis 37 Thomson stressed the impact that the design of the cable would have on its profitability Thomson contended that the signalling speed through a given cable was inversely proportional to the square of the length of the cable Thomson s results were disputed at a meeting of the British Association in 1856 by Wildman Whitehouse the electrician of the Atlantic Telegraph Company Whitehouse had possibly misinterpreted the results of his own experiments but was doubtless feeling financial pressure as plans for the cable were already well under way He believed that Thomson s calculations implied that the cable must be abandoned as being practically and commercially impossible Thomson attacked Whitehouse s contention in a letter to the popular Athenaeum magazine 38 pitching himself into the public eye Thomson recommended a larger conductor with a larger cross section of insulation He thought Whitehouse no fool and suspected that he might have the practical skill to make the existing design work Thomson s work had attracted the attention of the project s undertakers In December 1856 he was elected to the board of directors of the Atlantic Telegraph Company Scientist to engineer Edit Thomson became scientific adviser to a team with Whitehouse as chief electrician and Sir Charles Tilston Bright as chief engineer but Whitehouse had his way with the specification supported by Faraday and Samuel F B Morse William Thomson s telegraphic syphon recorder on display at Porthcurno Telegraph Museum in January 2019 Thomson sailed on board the cable laying ship HMS Agamemnon in August 1857 with Whitehouse confined to land owing to illness but the voyage ended after 380 miles 610 km when the cable parted Thomson contributed to the effort by publishing in the Engineer the whole theory of the stresses involved in the laying of a submarine cable and showed that when the line is running out of the ship at a constant speed in a uniform depth of water it sinks in a slant or straight incline from the point where it enters the water to that where it touches the bottom 39 Thomson developed a complete system for operating a submarine telegraph that was capable of sending a character every 3 5 seconds He patented the key elements of his system the mirror galvanometer and the siphon recorder in 1858 Whitehouse still felt able to ignore Thomson s many suggestions and proposals It was not until Thomson convinced the board that using purer copper for replacing the lost section of cable would improve data capacity that he first made a difference to the execution of the project 40 The board insisted that Thomson join the 1858 cable laying expedition without any financial compensation and take an active part in the project In return Thomson secured a trial for his mirror galvanometer which the board had been unenthusiastic about alongside Whitehouse s equipment Thomson found the access he was given unsatisfactory and the Agamemnon had to return home following the disastrous storm of June 1858 In London the board was about to abandon the project and mitigate their losses by selling the cable Thomson Cyrus West Field and Curtis M Lampson argued for another attempt and prevailed Thomson insisting that the technical problems were tractable Though employed in an advisory capacity Thomson had during the voyages developed a real engineer s instincts and skill at practical problem solving under pressure often taking the lead in dealing with emergencies and being unafraid to assist in manual work A cable was completed on 5 August Disaster and triumph Edit Thomson s fears were realized when Whitehouse s apparatus proved insufficiently sensitive and had to be replaced by Thomson s mirror galvanometer Whitehouse continued to maintain that it was his equipment that was providing the service and started to engage in desperate measures to remedy some of the problems He succeeded in fatally damaging the cable by applying 2 000 V When the cable failed completely Whitehouse was dismissed though Thomson objected and was reprimanded by the board for his interference Thomson subsequently regretted that he had acquiesced too readily to many of Whitehouse s proposals and had not challenged him with sufficient vigour 41 A joint committee of inquiry was established by the Board of Trade and the Atlantic Telegraph Company Most of the blame for the cable s failure was found to rest with Whitehouse 42 The committee found that though underwater cables were notorious in their lack of reliability most of the problems arose from known and avoidable causes Thomson was appointed one of a five member committee to recommend a specification for a new cable The committee reported in October 1863 43 In July 1865 Thomson sailed on the cable laying expedition of the SS Great Eastern but the voyage was dogged by technical problems The cable was lost after 1 200 miles 1 900 km had been laid and the project was abandoned A further attempt in 1866 laid a new cable in two weeks and then recovered and completed the 1865 cable The enterprise was now feted as a triumph by the public and Thomson enjoyed a large share of the adulation Thomson along with the other principals of the project was knighted on 10 November 1866 To exploit his inventions for signalling on long submarine cables Thomson now entered into a partnership with C F Varley and Fleeming Jenkin In conjunction with the latter he also devised an automatic curb sender a kind of telegraph key for sending messages on a cable Later expeditions Edit 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 He was present at the laying of the Para to Pernambuco section of the Brazilian coast cables in 1873 Thomson s wife Margaret died on 17 June 1870 and he resolved to make changes in his life Already addicted to seafaring in September he purchased a 126 ton schooner the Lalla Rookh 44 45 and used it as a base for entertaining friends and scientific colleagues His maritime interests continued in 1871 when he was appointed to the Board of Enquiry into the sinking of HMS Captain In June 1873 Thomson and Jenkin were on board the Hooper bound for Lisbon with 2 500 miles 4 020 km of cable when the cable developed a fault An unscheduled 16 day stop over in Madeira followed and Thomson became good friends with Charles R Blandy and his three daughters On 2 May 1874 he set sail for Madeira on the Lalla Rookh As he approached the harbour he signaled to the Blandy residence Will you marry me and Fanny Blandy s daughter Frances Anna Blandy signaled back Yes Thomson married Fanny 13 years his junior on 24 June 1874 Lord Kelvin by Hubert von HerkomerOther contributions EditThomson and Tait Treatise on Natural Philosophy Edit Main article Treatise on Natural Philosophy 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 The text developed dynamics in various areas but with constant attention to energy as a unifying principle A second edition appeared in 1879 expanded to two separately bound parts The textbook set a standard for early education in mathematical physics Atmospheric electricity Edit Kelvin made significant contributions to atmospheric electricity for the relatively short time for which he worked on the subject around 1859 46 He developed several instruments for measuring the atmospheric electric field using some of the electrometers he had initially developed for telegraph work which he tested at Glasgow and whilst on holiday on Arran His measurements on Arran were sufficiently rigorous and well calibrated that they could be used to deduce air pollution from the Glasgow area through its effects on the atmospheric electric field 47 Kelvin s water dropper electrometer was used for measuring the atmospheric electric field at Kew Observatory and Eskdalemuir Observatory for many years 48 and one was still in use operationally at Kakioka Observatory in Japan 49 until early 2021 Kelvin may have unwittingly observed atmospheric electrical effects caused by the Carrington event a significant geomagnetic storm in early September 1859 46 Kelvin s vortex theory of the atom Edit Main article Vortex theory of the atom Between 1870 and 1890 the vortex atom theory which purported that an atom was a vortex in the aether was popular among British physicists and mathematicians Thomson pioneered the theory which was distinct from the seventeenth century vortex theory of Descartes in that Thomson was thinking in terms of a unitary continuum theory whereas Descartes was thinking in terms of three different types of matter each relating respectively to emission transmission and reflection of light 50 About 60 scientific papers were written by approximately 25 scientists Following the lead of Thomson and Tait 51 the branch of topology called knot theory was developed Kelvin s initiative in this complex study that continues to inspire new mathematics has led to persistence of the topic in history of science 52 53 Marine Edit Thomson s tide predicting machine Thomson was an enthusiastic yachtsman his interest in all things relating to the sea perhaps arising from or fostered by his experiences on the Agamemnon and the Great Eastern Thomson introduced a method of deep sea depth sounding in which a steel piano wire replaces the ordinary hand line The wire glides so easily to the bottom that flying soundings can be taken while the ship is at full speed A pressure gauge to register the depth of the sinker was added by Thomson About the same time he revived the Sumner method of finding a ship s position and calculated a set of tables for its ready application During the 1880s Thomson worked to perfect the adjustable compass to correct errors arising from magnetic deviation owing to the increased use of iron in naval architecture Thomson s design was a great improvement on the older instruments being steadier and less hampered by friction The deviation due to the ship s magnetism was corrected by movable iron masses at the binnacle Thomson s innovations involved much detailed work to develop principles identified by George Biddell Airy and others but contributed little in terms of novel physical thinking Thomson s energetic lobbying and networking proved effective in gaining acceptance of his instrument by The Admiralty Kelvin Mariner s Compass Scientific biographers of Thomson if they have paid any attention at all to his compass innovations have generally taken the matter to be a sorry saga of dim witted naval administrators resisting marvellous innovations from a superlative scientific mind Writers sympathetic to the Navy on the other hand portray Thomson as a man of undoubted talent and enthusiasm with some genuine knowledge of the sea who managed to parlay a handful of modest ideas in compass design into a commercial monopoly for his own manufacturing concern using his reputation as a bludgeon in the law courts to beat down even small claims of originality from others and persuading the Admiralty and the law to overlook both the deficiencies of his own design and the virtues of his competitors The truth inevitably seems to lie somewhere between the two extremes 54 Charles Babbage had been among the first to suggest that a lighthouse might be made to signal a distinctive number by occultations of its light but Thomson pointed out the merits of the Morse code for the purpose and urged that the signals should consist of short and long flashes of the light to represent the dots and dashes Electrical standards Edit Thomson did more than any other electrician up to his time in introducing accurate methods and apparatus for measuring electricity As early as 1845 he pointed out that the experimental results of William Snow Harris were in accordance with the laws of Coulomb In the Memoirs of the Roman Academy of Sciences for 1857 he published a description of his new divided ring electrometer based on the old electroscope of Johann Gottlieb Friedrich von Bohnenberger and he introduced a chain or series of effective instruments including the quadrant electrometer which cover the entire field of electrostatic measurement He invented the current balance also known as the Kelvin balance or Ampere balance SiC for the precise specification of the ampere the standard unit of electric current From around 1880 he was aided by the electrical engineer Magnus Maclean FRSE in his electrical experiments 55 In 1893 Thomson headed an international commission to decide on the design of the Niagara Falls power station Despite his belief in the superiority of direct current electric power transmission he endorsed Westinghouse s alternating current system which had been demonstrated at the Chicago World s Fair of that year Even after Niagara Falls Thomson still held to his belief that direct current was the superior system 56 Acknowledging his contribution to electrical standardisation the International Electrotechnical Commission elected Thomson as its first President at its preliminary meeting held in London on 26 27 June 1906 On the proposal of the President Mr Alexander Siemens Great Britain secounded sic by Mr Mailloux US Institute of Electrical Engineers the Right Honorable Lord Kelvin G C V O O M was unanimously elected first President of the Commission minutes of the Preliminary Meeting Report read 57 Age of the Earth geology Edit Kelvin caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair 1897 Kelvin estimated the age of the Earth Given his youthful work on the figure of the Earth and his interest in heat conduction it is no surprise that he chose to investigate the Earth s cooling and to make historical inferences of the Earth s age from his calculations Thomson was a creationist in a broad sense but he was not a flood geologist 58 a view that had lost mainstream scientific support by the 1840s 59 60 He contended that the laws of thermodynamics operated from the birth of the universe and envisaged a dynamic process that saw the organisation and evolution of the Solar System and other structures followed by a gradual heat death He developed the view that the Earth had once been too hot to support life and contrasted this view with that of uniformitarianism that conditions had remained constant since the indefinite past He contended that This earth certainly a moderate number of millions of years ago was a red hot globe 61 After the publication of Charles Darwin s On the Origin of Species in 1859 Thomson saw evidence of the relatively short habitable age of the Earth as tending to contradict Darwin s gradualist explanation of slow natural selection bringing about biological diversity Thomson s own views favoured a version of theistic evolution sped up by divine guidance 62 His calculations showed that the Sun could not have possibly existed long enough to allow the slow incremental development by evolution unless some energy source beyond what he or any other Victorian era person knew of was found He was soon drawn into public disagreement with geologists 63 Kelvin did pay off gentleman s bet with Strutt on the importance of radioactivity in the Earth The Kelvin period does exist in the evolution of stars They shine from gravitational energy for a while correctly calculated by Kelvin before fusion and the main sequence begins Fusion was not understood until well after Kelvin s time 64 and with Darwin s supporters John Tyndall and T H Huxley In his response to Huxley s address to the Geological Society of London 1868 he presented his address Of Geological Dynamics 1869 65 which among his other writings challenged the geologists acceptance that the earth must be of indefinite age 63 Thomson s initial 1864 estimate of the Earth s age was from 20 to 400 million years old These wide limits were due to his uncertainty about the melting temperature of rock to which he equated the Earth s interior temperature 66 67 as well as the uncertainty in thermal conductivities and specific heats of rocks Over the years he refined his arguments and reduced the upper bound by a factor of ten and in 1897 Thomson now Lord Kelvin ultimately settled on an estimate that the Earth was 20 40 million years old 68 69 In a letter published in Scientific American Supplement 1895 Kelvin criticized geologists estimates of the age of rocks and the age of the earth including the views published by Charles Darwin as vaguely vast age 70 His exploration of this estimate can be found in his 1897 address to the Victoria Institute given at the request of the Institute s president George Stokes 71 as recorded in that Institute s journal Transactions 72 Although his former assistant John Perry published a paper in 1895 challenging Kelvin s assumption of low thermal conductivity inside the Earth and thus showing a much greater age 73 this had little immediate impact The discovery in 1903 that radioactive decay releases heat led to Kelvin s estimate being challenged and Ernest Rutherford famously made the argument in a 1904 lecture attended by Kelvin that this provided the unknown energy source Kelvin had suggested but the estimate was not overturned until the development in 1907 of radiometric dating of rocks 63 It was widely believed that the discovery of radioactivity had invalidated Thomson s estimate of the age of the Earth Thomson himself never publicly acknowledged this because he thought he had a much stronger argument restricting the age of the Sun to no more than 20 million years Without sunlight there could be no explanation for the sediment record on the Earth s surface At the time the only known source for the solar power output was gravitational collapse It was only when thermonuclear fusion was recognised in the 1930s that Thomson s age paradox was truly resolved 74 Kelvin on a pleasure cruise on the River Clyde aboard the steamer Glen Sannox for his 17 June 1896 jubilee as Professor of Natural Philosophy at Glasgow Lord Kelvin and Lady Kelvin hosting Norwegians Fridtjof Nansen and Eva Nansen visiting at their house in February 1897Later life and death Edit The grave of the Thomson family Glasgow Necropolis In the winter of 1860 1861 Kelvin slipped on the ice while curling near his home at Netherhall and fractured his leg causing him to miss the 1861 Manchester meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and to limp thereafter 7 75 He remained something of a celebrity on both sides of the Atlantic until his death Thomson remained a devout believer in Christianity throughout his life attendance at chapel was part of his daily routine 76 He saw his Christian faith as supporting and informing his scientific work as is evident from his address to the annual meeting of the Christian Evidence Society 77 23 May 1889 78 In the 1902 Coronation Honours list published on 26 June 1902 the original day of the coronation of Edward VII and Alexandra 79 Kelvin was appointed a Privy Councillor and one of the first members of the new Order of Merit OM He received the order from the King on 8 August 1902 80 81 and was sworn a member of the council at Buckingham Palace on 11 August 1902 82 In his later years he often travelled to his town house at 15 Eaton Place off Eaton Square in London s Belgravia 7 In November 1907 he caught a chill and his condition deteriorated until he died at his Scottish country seat Netherhall in Largs on 17 December 83 At the request of Westminster Abbey the undertakers Wylie amp Lochhead prepared an oak coffin lined with lead In the dark of the winter evening the cortege set off from Netherhall for Largs railway station a distance of about a mile Large crowds witnessed the passing of the cortege and shopkeepers closed their premises and dimmed their lights The coffin was placed in a special Midland and Glasgow and South Western Railway van The train set off at 8 30 pm for Kilmarnock where the van was attached to the overnight express to St Pancras railway station in London 84 Kelvin s funeral was to be held on 23 December 1907 7 The coffin was taken from St Pancras by hearse to Westminster Abbey where it rested overnight in St Faith s Chapel The following day the Abbey was crowded for the funeral including representatives from the University of Glasgow and the University of Cambridge along with representatives from France Italy Germany Austria Russia the United States Canada Australia Japan and Monaco Kelvin s grave is in the nave near the choir screen and close to the graves of Isaac Newton John Herschel and Charles Darwin 85 The pall bearers included Darwin s son Sir George Darwin 86 Back in Scotland the University of Glasgow held a memorial service for Kelvin in the Bute Hall Kelvin had been a member of the Scottish Episcopal Church attached to St Columba s Episcopal Church in Largs and when in Glasgow to St Mary s Episcopal Church now St Mary s Cathedral Glasgow 84 At the same time as the funeral in Westminster Abbey a service was held in St Columba s Episcopal Church Largs attended by a large congregation including burgh dignitaries 87 William Thomson is also memorialised on the Thomson family grave in Glasgow Necropolis The family grave has a second modern memorial to William alongside erected by the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow a society of which he was president in the periods 1856 1858 and 1874 1877 88 Aftermath and legacy EditLimits of classical physics Edit In 1884 Thomson led a master class on Molecular Dynamics and the Wave Theory of Light at Johns Hopkins University 89 Kelvin referred to the acoustic wave equation describing sound as waves of pressure in air and attempted to describe also an electromagnetic wave equation presuming a luminiferous aether susceptible to vibration The study group included Michelson and Morley who subsequently performed the Michelson Morley experiment that undercut the aether theory Thomson did not provide a text but A S Hathaway took notes and duplicated them with a Papyrograph As the subject matter was under active development Thomson amended that text and in 1904 it was typeset and published Thomson s attempts to provide mechanical models ultimately failed in the electromagnetic regime Starting from his lecture in 1884 Kelvin was also the first scientist to formulate the hypothetical concept of dark matter he then attempted to define and locate some dark bodies in the Milky Way 90 91 On 27 April 1900 he gave a widely reported lecture titled Nineteenth Century Clouds over the Dynamical Theory of Heat and Light to the Royal Institution 92 93 The two dark clouds he was alluding to were confusion surrounding how matter moves through the aether including the puzzling results of the Michelson Morley experiment and indications that the Law of Equipartition in statistical mechanics might break down Two major physical theories were developed during the twentieth century starting from these issues for the former the theory of relativity for the second quantum mechanics Albert Einstein in 1905 published the so called Annus Mirabilis papers one of which explained the photoelectric effect based on Max Planck s discovery of energy quanta which was the foundation of quantum mechanics another of which described special relativity and the last of which explained Brownian motion in terms of statistical mechanics providing a strong argument for the existence of atoms Pronouncements later proven to be false Edit Like many scientists Thomson made some mistakes in predicting the future of technology His biographer Silvanus P Thompson writes that When Rontgen s discovery of the X rays was announced at the end of 1895 Lord Kelvin was entirely skeptical and regarded the announcement as a hoax The papers had been full of the wonders of Rontgen s rays about which Lord Kelvin was intensely skeptical until Rontgen himself sent him a copy of his Memoir on 17 January 1896 having read the paper and seen the photographs he wrote Rontgen a letter saying that I need not tell you that when I read the paper I was very much astonished and delighted I can say no more now than to congratulate you warmly on the great discovery you have made 94 He would have his own hand X rayed in May 1896 95 See also N rays His forecast for practical aviation i e heavier than air aircraft was negative In 1896 he refused an invitation to join the Aeronautical Society writing that I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other than ballooning or of expectation of good results from any of the trials we hear of 96 And in a 1902 newspaper interview he predicted that No balloon and no aeroplane will ever be practically successful 97 The statement There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now All that remains is more and more precise measurement has been widely misattributed to Kelvin since the 1980s either without citation or stating that it was made in an address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science 1900 98 There is no evidence that Kelvin said this 99 100 and the quote is instead a paraphrase of Albert A Michelson who in 1894 stated it seems probable that most of the grand underlying principles have been firmly established An eminent physicist remarked that the future truths of physical science are to be looked for in the sixth place of decimals 100 Similar statements were given earlier by others such as Philipp von Jolly 101 The attribution to Kelvin giving an address in 1900 is presumably a confusion with his Two clouds speech delivered to the Royal Institution in 1900 see above and which on the contrary pointed out areas that would subsequently see revolutions In 1898 Kelvin predicted that only 400 years of oxygen supply remained on the planet due to the rate of burning combustibles 102 103 In his calculation Kelvin assumed that photosynthesis was the only source of free oxygen he did not know all of the components of the oxygen cycle dubious discuss He could not even have known all of the sources of photosynthesis for example the cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus which accounts for more than half of marine photosynthesis was not discovered until 1986 Eponyms Edit A variety of physical phenomena and concepts with which Thomson is associated are named Kelvin including Kelvin bridge also known as Thomson bridge Kelvin functions Kelvin Helmholtz instability Kelvin Helmholtz luminosity Kelvin Helmholtz mechanism Kelvin material Joule Kelvin effect Kelvin sensing Kelvin transform in potential theory Kelvin water dropper Kelvin wave Kelvin s heat death paradox Kelvin s circulation theorem Kelvin Stokes theorem Kelvin Varley divider The SI unit of temperature kelvin Honours Edit Statue of Kelvin Belfast Botanic Gardens Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1847 Keith Medal 1864 Gunning Victoria Jubilee Prize 1887 President 1873 1878 1886 1890 1895 1907 Foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 1851 Fellow of the Royal Society 1851 Royal Medal 1856 Copley Medal 1883 President 1890 1895 Hon Member of the Royal College of Preceptors College of Teachers 1858 Hon Member of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland 1859 104 Knighted 1866 105 Commander of the Imperial Order of the Rose Brazil 1873 Commander of the Legion of Honour France 1881 Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour 1889 Knight of the Prussian Order Pour le Merite 1884 Commander of the Order of Leopold Belgium 1890 Baron Kelvin of Largs in the County of Ayr 1892 106 The title derives from the River Kelvin which runs by the grounds of the University of Glasgow His title died with him as he was survived by neither heirs nor close relations The memorial of William Thomson Baron Kelvin in Kelvingrove Park next to the University of Glasgow Knight Grand Cross of the Victorian Order 1896 107 Honorary degree Legum doctor LL D Yale University 5 May 1902 108 One of the first members of the Order of Merit 1902 109 Privy Counsellor 11 August 1902 82 Honorary degree Doctor mathematicae from the Royal Frederick University on 6 September 1902 when they celebrated the centennial of the birth of mathematician Niels Henrik Abel 110 111 First international recipient of John Fritz Medal 1905 Order of the First Class of the Sacred Treasure of Japan 1901 He is buried in Westminster Abbey London next to Isaac Newton Lord Kelvin was commemorated on the 20 note issued by the Clydesdale Bank in 1971 in the current issue of banknotes his image appears on the bank s 100 note He is shown holding his adjustable compass and in the background is a map of the transatlantic cable 112 In 2011 he was one of seven inaugural inductees to the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame 113 World Refrigeration Day is 26 June It was chosen to celebrate his birth date and has been held annually since 2019 Arms Edit Coat of arms of William Thomson 1st Baron Kelvin Notes The arms of Lord Kelvin consist of 114 Crest A cubit arm erect vested azure cuffed argent the hand grasping five ears of rye proper Escutcheon Argent a stag s head caboshed gules on a chief azure a thunderbolt proper winged or between two spur revels of the first Supporters On the dexter side a student of the University of Glasgow habited holding in his dexter hand a marine voltmeter all proper On the sinister side a sailor habited holding in the dexter hand a coil the rope passing through the sinister and suspended therefrom a sinker of a sounding machine also all proper Motto Honesty without fear See also EditTaylor column People on Scottish banknotes List of things named after Lord KelvinReferences Edit Grabiner Judy 2002 Creators of Mathematics The Irish Connection book review PDF Irish Math Soc Bull 48 67 doi 10 33232 BIMS 0048 65 68 Retrieved 27 June 2016 a b Harold I Sharlin 13 December 2019 William Thomson Baron Kelvin Encyclopaedia Britannica Retrieved 24 January 2020 Significant Scots William Thomson Lord Kelvin Electric Scotland Retrieved 23 July 2018 William Thomson Lord Kelvin Scientist Mathematician and Engineer Westminster Abbey Retrieved 23 July 2018 His first wife was Margaret Crum and he married secondly Frances Blandy but had no children Kelvin William T 1849 An Account of Carnot s Theory of the Motive Power of Heat with Numerical Results Deduced from Regnault s Experiments on Steam Transactions of the Edinburg Royal Society XVI January 2 Scanned Copy Archived 24 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine Ranford Paul September 2019 John William Strutt the 3rd Baron Rayleigh 1842 1919 Recently studied correspondence p 25 a b c d e f g Smith Crosbie Thomson William Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online ed Oxford University Press doi 10 1093 ref odnb 36507 Subscription or UK public library membership required Martin Elizabeth ed 2009 Kelvin Sir William Thomson Lord The New Oxford Dictionary for Scientific Writers and Editors 2nd ed Oxford University Press doi 10 1093 acref 9780199545155 001 0001 ISBN 978 0 19 954515 5 retrieved 8 October 2020 British theoretical and experimental physicist Knowles Elizabeth ed 2014 Lord Kelvin Oxford Dictionary of Quotations Oxford Reference 8th ed Oxford University Press doi 10 1093 acref 9780199668700 013 q author 00010 00001845 inactive 28 February 2022 retrieved 8 October 2020 Lord Kelvin 1824 1907 British physicist and natural philosopher a href wiki Template Citation title Template Citation citation a CS1 maint DOI inactive as of February 2022 link Clapham Christopher Nicholson James eds 2014 Kelvin Lord The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Mathematics 5th ed Oxford University Press doi 10 1093 acref 9780199679591 001 0001 ISBN 978 0 19 967959 1 retrieved 8 October 2020 Kelvin Lord 1824 1907 The British mathematician physicist and engineer Schaschke Carl ed 2014 Kelvin Lord A Dictionary of Chemical Engineering Oxford University Press doi 10 1093 acref 9780199651450 001 0001 ISBN 978 0 19 965145 0 retrieved 8 October 2020 A Belfast born Scottish scientist Ridpath Ian ed 2018 Kelvin Lord A Dictionary of Astronomy 3rd ed Oxford University Press doi 10 1093 acref 9780191851193 001 0001 ISBN 978 0 19 185119 3 retrieved 8 October 2020 Kelvin Lord William Thomson 1824 1907 Scottish physicist Ratcliffe Susan ed 2018 Lord Kelvin Oxford Essential Quotations Oxford Reference 6th ed Oxford University Press doi 10 1093 acref 9780199668700 013 q author 00010 00006236 inactive 28 February 2022 Retrieved 8 October 2020 Lord Kelvin 1824 1907 British scientist a href wiki Template Cite book title Template Cite book cite book a CS1 maint DOI inactive as of February 2022 link Rennie Richard Law Jonathan eds 2019 Kelvin Lord A Dictionary of Physics 8th ed Oxford University Press doi 10 1093 acref 9780198821472 001 0001 ISBN 978 0 19 882147 2 retrieved 8 October 2020 Kelvin Lord William Thomson 1824 1907 British physicist Law Jonathan Rennie Richard eds 2020 Kelvin Lord A Dictionary of Chemistry 8th ed Oxford University Press doi 10 1093 acref 9780198841227 001 0001 ISBN 978 0 19 884122 7 retrieved 8 October 2020 Kelvin Lord William Thomson 1824 1907 British physicist born in Belfast Kelvin and Ireland Raymond Flood Mark McCartney and Andrew Whitaker 2009 J Phys Conf Ser 158 011001 Randall Lisa 2005 Warped Passages New York HarperCollins p 162 Hutchison Iain Lord Kelvin and Liberal Unionism PDF Retrieved 29 October 2011 Trainer Matthew 2008 Lord Kelvin Recipient of The John Fritz Medal in 1905 Physics in Perspective 10 212 223 doi 10 1007 s00016 007 0344 4 S2CID 124435108 Biography of William Thomson s father Groups dcs st and ac uk Retrieved 29 October 2011 Former Fellows of The Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783 2002 David Thomson Aberdeen University P Q R 1841 On Fourier s expansions of functions in trigonometric series Cambridge Mathematical Journal 2 258 262 P Q R 1841 Note on a passage in Fourier s Heat Cambridge Mathematical Journal 3 25 27 P Q R 1842 On the uniform motion of heat and its connection with the mathematical theory of electricity Cambridge Mathematical Journal 3 71 84 Niven W D ed 1965 The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell 2 vols New York Dover Vol 2 p 301 a href wiki Template Cite book title Template Cite book cite book a author has generic name help Mayer Roland 1978 Peterhouse Boat Club 1828 1978 Peterhouse Boat Club p 5 ISBN 0950618101 Thomson William THN841W A Cambridge Alumni Database University of Cambridge Thompson 1910 vol 1 p 98 McCartney Mark 1 December 2002 William Thomson king of Victorian physics Physics World Retrieved 16 July 2008 Chang 2004 Ch 4 Thomson W 1848 On an Absolute Thermometric Scale founded on Carnot s Theory of the Motive Power of Heat and calculated from Regnault s observations Math and Phys Papers vol 1 pp 100 106 1949 An Account of Carnot s Theory of the Motive Power of Heat with Numerical Results deduced from Regnault s Experiments on Steam Math and Phys Papers vol 1 pp 113 155 a b Sharlin 1979 p 112 Otis Laura 2002 Literature and Science in the Nineteenth Century An Anthology OUP Oxford Vol 1 pp 60 67 Thomson William 1862 On the Age of the Sun s Heat Macmillan s Magazine Vol 5 pp 388 393 Thomson W 1851 On the dynamical theory of heat with numerical results deduced from Mr Joule s equivalent of a thermal unit and M Regnault s observations on steam Math and Phys Papers vol 1 pp 175 183 Thomson W March 1851 On the Dynamical Theory of Heat with numerical results deduced from Mr Joule s equivalent of a Thermal Unit and M Regnault s Observations on Steam Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh XX part II 261 268 289 298 Also published in Thomson W December 1852 On the Dynamical Theory of Heat with numerical results deduced from Mr Joule s equivalent of a Thermal Unit and M Regnault s Observations on Steam Phil Mag 4 IV 22 8 21 Retrieved 25 June 2012 Thomson W 1851 p 183 Thomson W 1856 On the thermal effects of fluids in motion Math and Phys Papers vol 1 pp 333 455 William Thomson Baron Kelvin Scottish engineer mathematician and physicist Encyclopaedia Britannica Britannica com 17 December 1907 Retrieved 4 September 2013 Thomson W 1891 Popular Lectures and Addresses Vol I London MacMillan p 80 ISBN 9780598775993 Retrieved 25 June 2012 Thomson W 1854 On the theory of the electric telegraph Math and Phys Papers vol 2 p 61 Thomson W 1855 On the peristaltic induction of electric currents in submarine telegraph wires Math and Phys Papers vol 2 p 87 Thomson W 1855 Letters on telegraph to America Math and Phys Papers vol 2 p 92 Thomson W 1857 Math and Phys Papers vol 2 p 154 Sharlin 1979 p 141 Sharlin 1979 p 144 Board of Trade Committee to Inquire into Submarine Telegraph Cables Parl papers 1860 52 591 no 2744 Report of the Scientific Committee Appointed to Consider the Best Form of Cable for Submersion Between Europe and America 1863 Alan Gurney 17 August 2005 Chapter 19 Thomson s Compass and Binnacle Compass A Story of Exploration and Innovation W W Norton amp Company ISBN 9780393608830 Lord Kelvin s sailing yacht Lalla Rookh c 1860 1900 stock images a b Aplin K L Harrison R G 3 September 2013 Lord Kelvin s atmospheric electricity measurements History of Geo and Space Sciences 4 2 83 95 arXiv 1305 5347 Bibcode 2013HGSS 4 83A doi 10 5194 hgss 4 83 2013 ISSN 2190 5010 S2CID 9783512 Aplin Karen L April 2012 Smoke emissions from industrial western Scotland in 1859 inferred from Lord Kelvin s atmospheric electricity measurements Atmospheric Environment 50 373 376 Bibcode 2012AtmEn 50 373A doi 10 1016 j atmosenv 2011 12 053 ISSN 1352 2310 Harrison R G 2003 Twentieth century atmospheric electrical measurements at the observatories of Kew Eskdalemuir and Lerwick Weather 58 1 11 19 Bibcode 2003Wthr 58 11H doi 10 1256 wea 239 01 ISSN 1477 8696 S2CID 122673748 Takeda M Yamauchi M Makino M Owada T 2011 Initial effect of the Fukushima accident on atmospheric electricity Geophysical Research Letters 38 15 Bibcode 2011GeoRL 3815811T doi 10 1029 2011GL048511 ISSN 1944 8007 S2CID 73530372 Kragh Helge 2002 The Vortex Atom A Victorian Theory of Everything Centaurus 44 1 2 32 114 doi 10 1034 j 1600 0498 2002 440102 x ISSN 0008 8994 Retrieved 9 March 2019 Thomson Wm 1867 On Vortex Atoms Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 6 94 105 doi 10 1017 S0370164600045430 Silliman Robert H 1963 William Thomson Smoke Rings and Nineteenth Century Atomism Isis 54 4 461 474 JSTOR link Helge Kragh 211 Higher Speculations Grand Theories and Failed Revolutions in Physics and Cosmology Oxford University Press Lindley 2004 p 259 Maclean Magnus 1857 1937 electrical engineer University of Strathclyde Archives Retrieved 19 January 2018 David Lindley Degrees Kelvin A Tale of Genius Invention and Tragedy page 293 IEC 1906 Preliminary Meeting Report pp 46 48 PDF The minutes from our first meeting Retrieved 21 October 2012 Sharlin 1979 p 169 Imbrie amp Imbrie 1986 p 40 Young amp Stearley 2008 p 99 Burchfield 1990 Bowler Peter J 1983 The eclipse of Darwinism anti Darwinian evolution theories in the decades around 1900 paperback ed Baltimore Johns Hopkins University Press pp 23 24 ISBN 978 0 8018 4391 4 a b c Kelvin did pay off gentleman s bet with Strutt on the importance of radioactivity in the Earth The Kelvin period does exist in the evolution of stars They shine from gravitational energy for a while correctly calculated by Kelvin before fusion and the main sequence begins Fusion was not understood until well after Kelvin s time England P Molnar P Righter F January 2007 John Perry s neglected critique of Kelvin s age for the Earth A missed opportunity in geodynamics GSA Today 17 1 4 9 doi 10 1130 GSAT01701A 1 England P Molnar P Righter F January 2007 John Perry s neglected critique of Kelvin s age for the Earth A missed opportunity in geodynamics GSA Today 17 1 4 9 doi 10 1130 GSAT01701A 1 Of Geological Dynamics excerpts Zapatopi net Retrieved 29 October 2011 Tung K K Topics in Mathematical Modeling Princeton University Press 2007 p 243 251 In Thomson s theory the Earth s age is proportional to the square of the difference between interior temperature and surface temperature so that the uncertainty in the former leads to an even larger relative uncertainty in the age Thomson William 1862 On the Secular Cooling of the Earth Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh XXIII 160 161 doi 10 1017 s0080456800018512 Burchfield Joe D 1990 Lord Kelvin and the Age of the Earth University of Chicago Press p 43 ISBN 978 0 226 08043 7 Hamblin W Kenneth 1989 The Earth s Dynamic Systems 5th ed Macmillan Publishing Company p 135 ISBN 978 0 02 349381 2 Heuel Fabianek Burkhard Naturliche Radioisotope die Atomuhr fur die Bestimmung des absoluten Alters von Gesteinen und archaologischen Funden StrahlenschutzPraxis 1 2017 31 42 Silvanus Phillips Thompson January 1977 The life of Lord Kelvin American Journal of Physics 45 10 1095 Bibcode 1977AmJPh 45 1010T doi 10 1119 1 10735 ISBN 978 0 8284 0292 7 Silvanus Phillips Thompson January 1977 The life of Lord Kelvin American Journal of Physics 45 10 998 Bibcode 1977AmJPh 45 1010T doi 10 1119 1 10735 ISBN 978 0 8284 0292 7 Perry John 1895 On the age of the earth Nature 51 224 227 341 342 582 585 51 224 51 341 51 582 at Internet Archive Stacey Frank D 2000 Kelvin s age of the Earth paradox revisited Journal of Geophysical Research 105 B6 13155 13158 Bibcode 2000JGR 10513155S doi 10 1029 2000JB900028 Philips Thompson S The Life of William Thomson Baron Kelvin of Largs McCartney amp Whitaker 2002 reproduced on Institute of Physics website Thomson W 1889 Address to the Christian Evidence Society The Finality of this Globe Hampshire Telegraph 15 June 1889 p 11 The Coronation Honours The Times No 36804 London 26 June 1902 p 5 Court Circular The Times No 36842 London 9 August 1902 p 6 No 27470 The London Gazette 2 September 1902 p 5679 a b No 27464 The London Gazette 12 August 1902 p 5173 Death of Lord Kelvin Times a href wiki Template Cite web title Template Cite web cite web a Missing or empty url help a b The Scotsman 23 December 1907 The Abbey Scientists Hall A R p62 London Roger amp Robert Nicholson 1966 Glasgow Herald 24 December 1907 Glasgow Evening Times 23 December 1907 Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow 2008 No Mean Society 200 years of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow 2nd Ed PDF p 138 ISBN 978 0 9544965 0 0 Robert Kargon and Peter Achinstein 1987 Kelvin s Baltimore Lectures and Modern Theoretical Physics historical and philosophical perspectives MIT Press ISBN 0 262 11117 9 How dark matter became a particle CERN Courier 13 April 2017 Retrieved 16 March 2022 A History of Dark Matter Gianfranco Bertone amp Dan Hooper ned ipac caltech edu Lord Kelvin Nineteenth Century Clouds over the Dynamical Theory of Heat and Light reproduced in Notices of the Proceedings at the Meetings of the Members of the Royal Institution of Great Britain with Abstracts of the Discourses Volume 16 p 363 397 The London Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science Series 6 volume 2 pages 1 40 1901 The life of William Thomson baron Kelvin of Largs vol2 Views and Opinions The Royal Society London Letter from Lord Kelvin to Baden Powell 8 December 1896 Interview in the Newark Advocate 26 April 1902 Superstring A theory of everything 1988 by Paul Davies and Julian Brown Einstein 2007 by Walter Isaacson page 575 a b The End of Science 1996 by John Horgan p 19 Lightman Alan P 2005 The discoveries great breakthroughs in twentieth century science including the original papers Toronto Alfred A Knopf Canada p 8 ISBN 978 0 676 97789 9 Papers Past Evening Post 30 July 1898 A Startling Scientific Prediction Paperspast natlib govt nz Retrieved 4 September 2013 The Evening News Google News Archive Search Archived from the original on 12 July 2012 Honorary Members and Fellows Institution of Engineers in Scotland Retrieved 6 October 2012 No 23185 The London Gazette 16 November 1866 p 6062 No 26260 The London Gazette 23 February 1892 p 991 No 26758 The London Gazette 14 July 1896 p 4026 Court Circular The Times No 36760 London 6 May 1902 p 5 No 27470 The London Gazette 2 September 1902 p 5679 Foreign degrees for British men of Science The Times No 36867 London 8 September 1902 p 4 Honorary doctorates from the University of Oslo 1902 1910 in Norwegian Current Banknotes Clydesdale Bank The Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers Retrieved 15 October 2008 Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame engineeringhalloffame org 2012 Retrieved 27 August 2012 Thompson Silvanus 1910 The Life of William Thomson Baron Kelvin of Largs Volume 2 MacMillan and Co Limited p 914 Kelvin s works Edit Thomson W Tait P G 1867 Treatise on Natural Philosophy Oxford 2nd edition 1883 reissued by Cambridge University Press 2009 ISBN 978 1 108 00537 1 Treatise on Natural Philosophy Part I Internet Archive Treatise on Natural Philosophy Part II Internet Archive Tait P G 1872 Elements of Natural Philosophy At the University press reissued by Cambridge University Press 2010 ISBN 978 1 108 01448 9 2nd edition 1879 Elasticity and heat Edinburgh Adam amp Charles Black 1880 Thomson W 1881 Shakespeare and Bacon on Vivisection Sands amp McDougall Tait P G 1872 Elements of Natural Philosophy At the University press reissued by Cambridge University Press 2010 ISBN 978 1 108 01448 9 2nd edition 1879 1882 1911 Mathematical and Physical Papers Cambridge University Press 6 volumes Volume I 1841 1853 Internet Archive Volume II 1853 1856 Internet Archive Volume III Elasticity heat electro magnetism Internet Archive Volume IV Hydrodynamics and general dynamics Hathitrust Volume V Thermodynamics cosmical and geological physics molecular and crystalline theory electrodynamics Internet Archive Volume VI Voltaic theory radioactivity electrions navigation and tides miscellaneous Internet Archive 1904 Baltimore Lectures on Molecular Dynamics and the Wave Theory of Light Baltimore Lectures on Molecular Dynamics and the Wave Theory of Light Bibcode 2010blmd book T reissued by Cambridge University Press 2010 ISBN 978 1 108 00767 2 1912 Collected Papers in Physics and Engineering Nature 90 2256 563 565 ASIN B0000EFOL8 Bibcode 1913Natur 90 563P doi 10 1038 090563a0 S2CID 3957852 Wilson D B ed 1990 The Correspondence Between Sir George Gabriel Stokes and Sir William Thomson Baron Kelvin of Largs 2 vols Cambridge University Press ISBN 978 0 521 32831 9 Horz H 2000 Naturphilosophie als Heuristik Korrespondenz zwischen Hermann von Helmholtz und Lord Kelvin William Thomson Basilisken Presse ISBN 978 3 925347 56 6 Biography history of ideas and criticism Edit Buchwald J Z 1977 William Thomson and the mathematization of Faraday s electrostatics Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences 8 101 136 doi 10 2307 27757369 JSTOR 27757369 Burchfield J D 1990 Lord Kelvin and the Age of the Earth University of Chicago Press ISBN 978 0 226 08043 7 Cardoso Dias D M 1996 William Thomson and the Heritage of Caloric Annals of Science 53 5 511 520 doi 10 1080 00033799600200361 Chang H 2004 Inventing Temperature Measurement and Scientific Progress Oxford University Press ISBN 978 0 19 517127 3 Gooding D 1980 Faraday Thomson and the concept of the magnetic field British Journal for the History of Science 13 2 91 120 doi 10 1017 S0007087400017726 S2CID 145573114 Gossick B R 1976 Heaviside and Kelvin a study in contrasts Annals of Science 33 3 275 287 doi 10 1080 00033797600200561 Gray A 1908 Lord Kelvin An Account of His Scientific Life and Work London J M Dent amp Co Green G amp Lloyd J T 1970 Kelvin s instruments and the Kelvin Museum American Journal of Physics 40 3 496 Bibcode 1972AmJPh 40 496G doi 10 1119 1 1986598 ISBN 978 0 85261 016 9 Hearn Chester G 2004 Circuits in the Sea the men the ships and the Atlantic cable Westport Connecticut Praeger Imbrie John Imbrie Katherine Palmer 1986 Ice ages solving the mystery Cambridge Mass Harvard University Press pp 224 ISBN 978 0 674 44075 3 Kargon R H amp Achinstein P eds 1987 Kelvin s Baltimore Lectures and Modern Theoretical Physics Historical and Philosophical Perspectives Physics Today 42 1 82 84 Bibcode 1989PhT 42a 82K doi 10 1063 1 2810888 ISBN 978 0 262 11117 1 a href wiki Template Cite journal title Template Cite journal cite journal a author has generic name help CS1 maint multiple names authors list link King A G 1925 Kelvin the Man Nature 117 2933 79 Bibcode 1926Natur 117R 79 doi 10 1038 117079b0 S2CID 4094894 King E T 1909 Lord Kelvin s Early Home Nature 82 2099 331 333 Bibcode 1910Natur 82 331J doi 10 1038 082331a0 S2CID 3974629 Knudsen O 1972 From Lord Kelvin s notebook aether speculations Centaurus 16 1 41 53 Bibcode 1972Cent 16 41K doi 10 1111 j 1600 0498 1972 tb00164 x Lekner J 2012 Nurturing genius the childhood and youth of Kelvin and Maxwell PDF New Zealand Science Review Lindley D 2004 Degrees Kelvin A Tale of Genius Invention and Tragedy Joseph Henry Press ISBN 978 0 309 09073 5 McCartney M amp Whitaker A eds 2002 Physicists of Ireland Passion and Precision Institute of Physics Publishing ISBN 978 0 7503 0866 3 a href wiki Template Cite book title Template Cite book cite book a author has generic name help CS1 maint multiple names authors list link May W E 1979 Lord Kelvin and his compass Journal of Navigation 32 122 134 doi 10 1017 S037346330003318X Munro J 1891 Heroes of the Telegraph London Religious Tract Society Murray D 1924 Lord Kelvin as Professor in the Old College of Glasgow Glasgow Maclehose amp Jackson Russell A 1912 Lord Kelvin His Life and Work London T C amp E C Jack Retrieved 25 March 2014 Sharlin H I 1979 Lord Kelvin The Dynamic Victorian Pennsylvania State University Press ISBN 978 0 271 00203 3 Smith C amp Wise M N 1989 Energy and Empire A Biographical Study of Lord Kelvin Cambridge University Press ISBN 978 0 521 26173 9 Retrieved 25 March 2014 Thompson S P 1910 Life of William Thomson Baron Kelvin of Largs London Macmillan In two volumes Volume 1 Volume 2 Tunbridge P 1992 Lord Kelvin His Influence on Electrical Measurements and Units Peter Peregrinus London ISBN 978 0 86341 237 0 Wilson D 1910 William Thomson Lord Kelvin His Way of Teaching Glasgow John Smith amp Son Wilson D B 1987 Kelvin and Stokes A Comparative Study in Victorian Physics Bristol Hilger ISBN 978 0 85274 526 7 Young Davis A Stearley Ralph F 2008 The Bible rocks and time geological evidence for the age of the earth Downers Grove Ill IVP Academic ISBN 978 0 8308 2876 0 External links EditWikisource has original works by or about William Thomson KelvinWikiquote has quotations related to William Thomson 1st Baron Kelvin Wikimedia Commons has media related to William Thomson 1st Baron Kelvin Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica article Kelvin William Thomson Baron Works by William Thomson 1st Baron Kelvin at Project Gutenberg O Connor John J Robertson Edmund F William Thomson 1st Baron Kelvin MacTutor History of Mathematics archive University of St Andrews Works by or about William Thomson 1st Baron Kelvin at Internet Archive Works by William Thomson 1st Baron Kelvin at LibriVox public domain audiobooks Heroes of the Telegraph at The Online Books Page Horses on Mars from Lord Kelvin William Thomson king of Victorian physics at Institute of Physics website Measuring the Absolute William Thomson and Temperature Hasok Chang and Sang Wook Yi PDF file Reprint of papers on electrostatics and magnetism gallica The molecular tactics of a crystal Internet Archive Quotations This collection includes sources for many quotes Kelvin Building Opening The Leys School Cambridge 1893 The Kelvin LibraryProfessional and academic associationsPreceded byGeorge Stokes 36th President of the Royal Society 1890 1895 Succeeded byJoseph ListerAcademic officesPreceded byThe Earl of Stair Chancellor of the University of Glasgow 1904 1907 Succeeded byThe Earl of RoseberyPeerage of the United KingdomNew creation Baron Kelvin 1892 1907 Extinct Portals United Kingdom Biography Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title William Thomson 1st Baron Kelvin amp oldid 1092240622, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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