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James Prescott Joule (1818 – 1889)


English physicist and brewer.
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James Prescott Joule
It was in the year 1843 that I read a paper "On the Calorific Effects of Magneto-Electricity and the Mechanical Value of Heat" to the Chemical Section of the British Association assembled at Cork. With the exception of some eminent men, among whom I recollect with pride Dr. Apjohn, the president of the Section, the Earl of Rosse, Mr. Eaton Hodgkinson, and others, the subject did not excite much general attention; so that when I brought it forward again at the meeting in 1847, the chairman suggested that, as the business of the section pressed, I should not read my paper, but confine myself to a short verbal description of my experiments. This I endeavoured to do, and discussion not being invited, the communication would have passed without comment if a young man had not risen in the section, and by his intelligent observations created a lively interest in the new theory. The young man was William Thomson, who had two years previously passed the University of Cambridge with the highest honour, and is now probably the foremost scientific authority of the age.
Joule quotes
My object has been, first to discover correct principles and then to suggest their practical development.
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