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As a scholar William dazzled a Victorian society enthralled with the seductive authority and powerful beauty of scientific discovery. At a time when no one really understood heat, light, electricity, or magnetism, Thomson found key connections between them, laying the groundwork for two of the cornerstones of 19th-century science - the theories of electromagnetism and thermodynamics.
Gaining fame and wealth through his inventive genius, Thomson was elevated to the peerage by Queen Victoria for his many achievements. He was first scientist ever to be so honored. Indeed, his name survives in the designation of degrees Kelvin, the temperature scale that begins at absolute zero, the point at which atomic motion ceases and there is a complete absence of heat. Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, was Great Britain's unrivaled scientific hero.
But as the century drew to a close and Queen Victoria's reign ended, this legendary scientific mind began to weaken. He grudgingly gave way to others with a keener, more modern vision. But the great physicist did not go quietly. With a ready pulpit at his disposal, he publicly proclaimed his doubts over the existence of atoms. He refused to believe that radioactivity involved the transmutation of elements. And believing that the origin of life was a matter beyond the expertise of science and better left to theologians, he vehemently opposed the doctrines of evolution, repeatedlyrailing against Charles Darwin. Sadly, this pioneer of modern science spent his waning years arguing that the Earth and the Sun could not be more than 100 million years old. And although his early mathematical prowess had transformed our understanding of the forces of nature, he would n
Posted April 17, 2006
The British Physicist, William Thomson, also known as Baron Kelvin or Lord Kelvin has contributed to many branches of physics. He has worked in fields such as thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, heat, light, and absolute zero, one of the most well known works of Kelvin. This book talks about William Thomson¿s life as a scientist and how he applies them to everyday situations. He was a great thinker that always strived to improve. He created the first transatlantic telegraph cable, he then invented the mirror galvanometer, a more sensitive instrument for receiving electronic pulses than other invented mechanism during his time. Kelvin¿s interest in sailing led him to the creation of a better naval compass and sounding machines for aid in navigation. Kelvin was inspired to be a mathematician and physicist because his father was a math professor at University of Glasgow. Kelvin met James Prescott Joule, a great scientist that inspired Kelvin into creating the basis of his thermodynamics principle. David Lindley has done an excellent job in describing William Thomson¿s life. He gives great insight on Thomson¿s life, as well as his 70 patent inventions All though this book may sound boring because it is a biography, but it is not what you think it is. It is well written, well researched, and it is easy to read. You should read more about William Thomson, for he is not just Lord Kelvin that created the temperature scale that begins at absolute zero. There are much more about Kelvin then you think there are.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.