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Kelvin (of Largs), William Thomson, 1st Baron


Mathematician and physicist, born in Belfast, NE Northern Ireland, UK. He studied at Glasgow and Cambridge, and became professor of natural philosophy at Glasgow (1846). He designed several kinds of electrometer, and his sounding apparatus and compass were widely adopted. In pure science, he carried out fundamental research into thermodynamics, helping to develop the law of the conservation of energy, and the absolute temperature scale (now given in kelvin). He also presented the dynamical theory of heat, developed theorems for the mathematical analysis of electricity and magnetism, and investigated hydrodynamics, particularly wave-motion and vortex-motion. He was created a peer in 1892.

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