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Thomson Sir William

Thomson, SIR WILLIAM, LORD KELVIN (b. 1824), one of the greatest of natural philosophers, was born in Belfast, and educated at Glasgow University and at Cambridge. Even in boyhood he seems to have had remarkable aptitude for natural science, and some extremely valuable papers, written before he reached his majority, led to his being given the professorship of natural philosophy at Glasgow in 1846. To enumerate his many wonderful discoveries and theories would occupy a large space; it suffices to mention his theory of the dissipation of energy (1852), his vortex-atom theory, his calculation of the size of molecules, and his epoch~marking efforts in the science of telegraphy which have given him the unique position he holds. Some of his mechanical inventions are exceedingly ingenious and delicate. He was President of the Royal Society 1891-5, and was raised to the peerage for his services to science.