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William Thomson 1st Baron Kelvin of Largs...

The Belfast born Kelvin was Professor of Natural Philosophy at Glasgow University for 53 years, one of the founders of modern physics and the pre-eminent scientist of the nineteenth century. Kelvin had a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of physics: heat, light, sound, electricity. In his early days he performed experiments in electric lighting, thermodynamics and electrodynamics. He was a very talented scientific instrument designer and redesigned the nautical compass. It was Kelvin’s interest in submarine telegraphy and the laying of the first transatlantic telegraph cable in 1866, which made him internationally famous. The Kelvin scale is named in his honour.

Further Reading: Crosbie Smith and N. Norton Wise, Energy and Empire: A biographical study of Lord Kelvin (Cambridge, 1989).

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