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William Thomson

Mathematical Physicist and Engineer William Thomson

Full Name: 1st Baron Kelvin
Profession: Mathematical Physicist and Engineer


Why Famous: William Thomson was one of the foremost scientists and engineers of his age and the first British scientist to be knighted; he was created 1st Baron Kelvin 1892.

Born in Belfast, Thomson studied at Cambridge before becoming a professor at Glasgow University where he remained for 50 years.

As an academic he published more than 600 scientific papers, his most famous where he proposed an absolute scale of temperature, now called the Kelvin scale.

Thomson became famous to the public through his involvement in the laying of the Trans-Atlantic telegraph cable in the 1850s and 1860s and for his inventions, including the Kelvin compass and a sounding machine.

Thomson's involvement with industry made him rich as well as famous. He was buried in Westminster Abbey in 1907.

Born: June 26, 1824
Birthplace: Belfast, Ireland, United Kingdom
Star Sign: Cancer

Died: December 17, 1907 (aged 83)
Cause of Death: A chill

Events in the Life of William Thomson

  • 1834-11-14 William Thomson enters Glasgow University at 10 yrs 4 months

External Biographies