Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fun facts: On this date in science history

William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (1824–1907)
On June 26th in 1824 William Thomson was born, although you may know him better as Lord Kelvin.

He was a child prodigy in the field of mathematics who began his studies at Glasgow University at the age of 10 and published the first of his more 600 scientific papers when he was 16.

Lord Kelvin is, of course, best known for his studies on heat and specifically for his 1848 paper: 'On an Absolute Thermometric Scale.' In this paper he wrote of the need for a scale where absolute zero was the null point and which used the degree Celsius for the unit increment. In this paper he also calculated that absolute zero is equivalent to -273 Celsius. This absolute scale is known today as the Kelvin thermodynamic temperature scale.