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Degrees Kelvin: A Tale of Genius, Invention, and Tragedy
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Degrees Kelvin: A Tale of Genius, Invention, and Tragedy

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  27 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Lord Kelvin was knighted for his contribution to science and the British realm, hailed as a genius and courted for his charm and wit, while feared for his sharp tongue. Ultimately though, he was mocked and called a dabbler who had achieved nothing of consequence: why? In 1840 a precocious 16-year-old called William Thomson spent his summer studying an extraordinarily sophi ...more
Hardcover, 366 pages
Published March 3rd 2004 by Joseph Henry Press (first published January 1st 2004)
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Another one of those books that makes me wish we taught science as more of a struggle to find answers than a clearly defined string of discoveries. Lord Kelvin is now relatively unknown despite all his numerous contributions to various areas of Natural Science and this book does a great job of reflecting on the people behind the discoveries and the conflicts between them. A long slog though because it is a bit dry and detailed but once you get into his productive years, it's amazing to see what ...more
Jennifer Nelson
Wow - I haven't read a book that bored me to this extent in a long time. The author didn't seem to know what to include and what not to include, so you get a lot of very long-winded bunny trails and technical explanations that completely left me in the dust. Pretty much any person encountered is given a mini-biography (whether they play a small or large part in the story), which got to be quite tiresome.

Lord Kelvin (William Thomson) was an interesting character, though, and had a lot of influen
Josh Paul
I don't have much interest in the biographies of relatively obscure early physicists (this was assigned for a class), but as far as such things go this book was fairly good.
Elsie Klumpner
Excellent book. An interesting biography and unstandable science for a non-science person like me.
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