Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 28 May 2016

Home News Education

Queen's event to celebrate life of Ulster scientist

By Lesley-Anne Henry

Published 22/11/2007

The first man to put the Giant's Causeway on the map is due to be celebrated at a special event next month.

Belfast-born scientist Lord Kelvin, who helped create the world's first electric tram at the Causeway, will be commemorated by Queen's University and the Institute of Physics, Ireland on December 7.

The event, entitled 'Kelvin and Ireland', has been organised by Professor Andrew Whitaker from Queen's School of Mathematics - a contributing editor of a new collection of essays on Kelvin's life. It is due to take place at Queen's Great Hall between 10am and 4.30pm.

Born William Thomson in 1824, Lord Kelvin was a giant of 19th century science. In addition to developing the Kelvin temperature scale, he was responsible for the laying of the Atlantic telegraph cable. He was a talented engineer whose work meant messages could be delivered from Ireland to America in minutes via telegraph, rather than taking at least 10 days by ship.

Today his work is still revered by scientists and engineers worldwide, and his statue stands inside the entrance to Belfast's Botanic Gardens.

Professor Whitaker said: "Lord Kelvin was an outstanding scientist of the 19th century and someone about whom Northern Ireland should be very proud.

"While he spent much of his adult life in Glasgow, Kelvin's Irish connections remained a strong influence throughout his life. As well as hailing from Belfast, his brother James was a Professor of Engineering at Queen's and their conversations often inspired aspects of Kelvin's work.

"Whether people have an interest in Ulster-Scots, science, technology, history or engineering, I would urge them to come along to Kelvin and Ireland for a fascinating insight into the life of one of Northern Ireland's, if not the world's, greatest scientists."

For more details, contact Professor Whitaker on 9097 3576.

From the web

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph