Born scientist Lord Kelvin (1824)

Born scientist Lord Kelvin (1824)

The famous scientist Lord Kelvin, after whom the international unit of measurement (SI unit) for thermodynamic temperature is named today, was born on June 26, 1824. The Kelvin unit is extremely important because it represents one of the seven basic SI units, from which all the others are derived. A temperature of 0 kelvins indicates absolute zero, ie the lowest possible temperature and is -273.15 degrees Celsius.

Lord Kelvin is probably the first British scientist in history to become a lord primarily because of his contributions to science (for example Francis Bacon also became a lord, but primarily because of his political functions). Yet Kelvin’s title of lord seems to have been contributed to by his political views, especially on matters of Irish autonomy.

Kelvin was born William Thomson in Belfast, Ireland. He received the title of Lord Kelvin only in the late fifties. The full title he received at the time was Baron Kelvin of Largs, but British aristocrats with the title of baron are usually addressed as lords (although the title of lord belongs, in addition to barons, to British viscounts, earls and marquises).

The term Kelvin in its title denotes the Kelvin River in Scotland, which flows through the city of Glasgow and empties into the River Clyde. Namely, Lord Kelvin spent most of his life working at the University of Glasgow, and the Kelvin River flowed not far from his scientific laboratory there. By the way, Lord Kelvin lived in a large house (similar to a castle) named Netherhall near the seafront, near Largs near Glasgow. Although his title was hereditary, Lord Kelvin had no descendants, so the title went extinct with him.

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