Energy and Empire: A Biographical Study of Lord Kelvin

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 26, 1989 - Biography & Autobiography - 866 pages
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This study of Lord Kelvin, the most famous mathematical physicist of 19th-century Britain, delivers on a speculation long entertained by historians of science that Victorian physics expressed in its very content the industrial society that produced it.

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Contents

Clydeside
20
The new mathematics professor
32
the education of the people
37
Dr Thomsons family
49
A Cambridge undergraduate
56
The changing tradition of natural philosophy
83
Professor William Thomson
117
The language of mathematical physics
149
The atoms seemed ideal for simple thermodynamic systems
431
If vortex motion were quasistable it might meet simultaneously
438
Thomson versus Maxwell
445
The irreversible cosmos
497
The age of the sun controversies
524
The secular cooling of the earth
552
The age of the earth controversies
579
The habitation of earth
612

The kinematics of field theory and the nature of electricity
203
work ponderomotive force and extremum
237
the years of uncertainty
282
the years of resolution
317
T T or Treatise on Natural Philosophy
348
The hydrodynamics of matter
396
Vortex atoms
417
Gravity
425
The telegraphic art
649
the economics of electricity
684
the art of navigation
723
The magnetic compass
754
Baron Kelvin of Largs
799
Bibliography
815
Index
838
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