William Thomson

William Thomson

Birth
Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Death 17 Dec 1907 (aged 83)
Largs, North Ayrshire, Scotland
Burial Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 1278 · View Source
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Physicist, Engineer. William Thomson, first Baron Kelvin, contributed to physics and engineering in both theories and practical inventions. He attended the Royal Belfast Academical Institution before beginning study at Glasgow University in 1834, and went on to higher studies at Cambridge in 1841. While at Cambridge he concentrated his time on the study of mathematics, physics, and in particular, of electricity. In 1845, he gave the first mathematical development of the idea that electric induction takes place through an intervening medium. He also devised the mathematical technique of electrical images, a tool in solving problems of electrostatics. In 1846 he was appointed to the chair of natural philosophy in the University of Glasgow, at age twenty-two a professor in one of the oldest Universities in the country. In 1848, he proposed an absolute temperature scale that would be independent of the physical properties of any specific substance, which defined the point of absolute zero. From 1849 to 1851, he researched to reconcile theories involving the relationships between work and energy, and proposed ideas that would subsequently give rise to the second law of thermodynamics. He helped improve undersea telegraph cable technology, and took part in several cable-laying expeditions, contributing substantially to their success. He was knighted for these achievements in 1866. In 1902 he was appointed a Privy Counsellor and one of the first members of the Order of Merit. Acknowledging his contribution to electrical standardization, the International Electrotechnical Commission elected him as its first President in 1906.

Bio by: Pete Mohney


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 1278
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Thomson (26 Jun 1824–17 Dec 1907), Find a Grave Memorial no. 1278, citing Westminster Abbey, Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .