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

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  41 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
LORD KELVIN. In 1840, a precocious 16-year-old by the name of William Thomson spent his summer vacation studying an extraordinarily sophisticated mathematical controversy. His brilliant analysis inspired lavish praise and made the boy an instant intellectual celebrity. As a young scholar William dazzled a Victorian society enthralled with the seductive authority and powerf ...more
Hardcover, 382 pages
Published February 10th 2004 by Joseph Henry Press (first published January 1st 2004)
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Ari
Jul 11, 2016 Ari rated it really liked it
Shelves: widener, biography
William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, was one of the great scientists of the 19th century. In his own time, he was at the pinnacle of scientific prestige. He was the first scientist ever ennobled in the United Kington. His reputation, however, has fallen off considerably since his own time, and he mostly appears in the history of science as a cranky old man, opposing these new-fangled things like nuclear physics and relativity.

This biography paints a picture of the man, with particular emphasis on tryi
...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
...more
dejah_thoris
Sep 02, 2014 dejah_thoris rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
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
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
Jan 28, 2013 Elsie Klumpner rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. An interesting biography and unstandable science for a non-science person like me.
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