Lord Kelvin (1824-1907) was Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow from 1846 to 1899. An FRS, FRSE, knighted in 1866, awarded the Order of Merit in 1902, and in death buried beside Newton at Westminster Abbey, Kelvin was in his lifetime considered the pre-eminent natural philosopher of the Victorian Age. But the passage of time, and the supplanting of classical physics, have eroded his reputation. This talk will survey Kelvin's life and work, and seek to show why the assessment of Kelvin's importance by his contemporaries was not misplaced.
This talk was a part of the conference on '19th Century Mathematical Physics', held jointly by Gresham College and the British Society of the History of Mathematics. The transcript and downloadable versions of all of the lectures are available from the Gresham College website:
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There is currently nearly 1,500 lectures free to access or download from the website.
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