Wednesday, August 15, 2007

William Thompson

A photograph of William Thomson, likely from the late-19th century William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, OM, GCVO, PC, PRS, FRSE, (26 June 1824 – 17 December 1907) was a mathematical physicist, engineer, and outstanding leader in the physical sciences of the 19th century. He did important work in the mathematical analysis of electricity and thermodynamics, and did much to unify the emerging discipline of physics in its modern form. He is widely known for developing the Kelvin scale of absolute temperature measurement. The title Baron Kelvin was given in honour of his achievements, and named after the River Kelvin, which flowed past his university in Glasgow, Scotland.

He also enjoyed a second career as a telegraph engineer and inventor, a career that propelled him into the public eye and ensured his wealth, fame and honour.

Thomson was a defender of Christian education, and he studied the Bible, its history, and the geography of the ancient world.

Thomson remained a devout believer in Christianity throughout his life: attendance at chapel was part of his daily routine, though he might not identify with fundamentalism if he were alive today. 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.


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