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Portrait of Lord Kelvin, British physicist

Portrait of Lord Kelvin, British physicist

H411/0120

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Lord Kelvin. Portrait of Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), British physicist. Born William Thomson, he entered Glasgow University at the age of ten and was later to be its professor of natural philosophy for 53 years. Kelvin supported Joule's thermodynamics work and later proposed a law of the conservation of energy. In 1848 Kelvin proposed the existence of an absolute zero temperature and used it as a basis for measuring heat. Kelvin worked in electromagnetism, being the first to use vectors to represent magnetic induction and magnetic force. He improved electric cable design, making trans-Atlantic telegraphy viable. Photograph of Thomson aged 28.

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