The prestigious University of Glasgow is preparing to honor the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of its most distinguished researchers, William Thomson, also known as Lord Kelvin, who was born on 26 June 1824. Lord Kelvin’s 53-year career at the University established him as one of the most significant scientists of the 19th century, making groundbreaking contributions to mathematics, physics, and engineering that have shaped the modern world.

Lord Kelvin’s work on thermodynamics led to the creation of the Kelvin scale, used to measure absolute temperature. He also played a pivotal role in laying the first transatlantic telegraph cable, revolutionizing intercontinental communications. His patents, including the Kelvin compass, greatly improved maritime navigation. To commemorate his bicentenary, the University of Glasgow is organizing a series of public events and activities throughout June that focus on Kelvin’s life and achievements.

One of the highlights is the “Lord Kelvin: Beyond Absolute Zero” exhibition as part of the Glasgow Science Festival, where visitors can explore Kelvin’s work through rare artifacts from the University’s Special Collections and discover his lesser-known achievements. Additionally, two new Kelvin-inspired artworks by artist Gregor Harvie, created in collaboration with University researchers, will be unveiled at the event.

The celebration will also include public lectures on Kelvin’s contributions to precision measurement. Nobel laureate Professor Takaaki Kajita will discuss measuring neutrinos and gravitational waves on June 25, followed by a lecture from Dr. Daniel Mitchell of the IEEE History Centre on June 26, delving further into Kelvin’s work in measurements and quantification.

The Hunterian Museum, which houses a permanent display dedicated to Lord Kelvin, will host public events and lectures showcasing his life and work. Online talks and exhibitions will provide insights into Kelvin’s scientific instruments collection, emphasizing his legacy in science and engineering.

Professor Miles Padgett, Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy, expressed pride in celebrating Kelvin’s legacy and highlighted the University’s ongoing commitment to innovative research that impacts the real world. The University invites visitors to join the celebrations throughout June to explore artifacts and artworks inspired by Kelvin’s historic contributions and learn from expert speakers.

For more information on Lord Kelvin’s life and achievements and the University of Glasgow’s planned celebrations in June, visit

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