Willam Thompson, 1st Baron Kelvin

William Thomson popularly known as 1st Baron Kelvin, the creator of ‘absolute zero’; which are low limit temperature units.  Lord Kelvin is remembered for his outstanding works and achievements in the field of physics and mechanics.  Kelvin propounded the First and Second laws of Thermodynamics and brought revolutionary changes in Physics, which made it emerge as a prominent field of study and research in modern times.

William Thomson was born in Belfast in 1824 .  He was the second born of four children and suffered great tragedy when he lost his mother at the age of 6. Thomson was educated at home with his older brother, James, by their father.  In 1832, his father was asked to become a Professor of Mathematics, in Glasgow which meant the family relocated there.

When you are face to face with a difficulty, you are up against a discovery.

William did not have an easy life, he suffered from heart defects and he was very ill to the brink of dying at the age of 9. Age 10, however, he was enrolled in Glasgow University, which had school facilities for able  younger students.  During school, he showed huge interest in natural sciences and classical studies and was only 12 when he received a prize for translating ‘Lucian of Samosata’s Dialogues of the Gods’ from Latin to English. William’s academic brilliance continued and he won the class prize in astronomy in 1840 for his essay ‘The Figure of The Earth’ which was a masterpiece showing early signs of genius in representing mathematical analysis and creativity.

It was quite obvious that William would take up higher study, which was greatly supported by his father.  In 1841, he was enrolled in Cambridge University.  While at Cambridge, he was active in sports, athletics and sculling.  He also took an interest in music and literature.  However the real love of his life was his pursuit of Science. The study of Maths, Physics and Electricity had captured his imagination.

House Colours and Logo

Our House colour is green and all Kelvin pupils wear a tie with a green stripe. The house logo is shown below:


Lord Kelvin began his life in very humble beginnings and had a natural love for Science which he pursued with determination and focus.  He had an active mind that focused on solving problems, which led to many scientific breakthroughs and discoveries.  William used this to help others, for instance, his love for the ocean drove him to create several marine instruments.  One of which was a mariners compass more accurate than any other in existence.  He was quite simply brilliant! A boy from Belfast who used his curiosity to change history.

As members of Kelvin House we are;