Thursday, July 20, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

William - a.k.a. Lord Kelvin Thomson (1824 – 1907)


1st Baron Kelvin, often referred to simply as Lord Kelvin, was a Scottish physicist.
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Quaternions came from Hamilton after his really good work had been done, and though beautifully ingenious, have been an unmixed evil to those who have touched them in any way.
Thomson quotes
Tesla has contributed more to electrical science than any man up to his time.
Thomson
The beauty and clearness of the dynamical theory, which asserts heat and light to be modes of motion, is at present obscured by two clouds. I. The first came into existence with the undulatory theory of light, and was dealt with by Fresnel and Dr. Thomas Young; it involved the question, how could the earth move through an elastic solid, such as essentially is the luminiferous ether? II. The second is the Maxwell–Boltzmann doctrine regarding the partition of energy.




I am afraid I am not in the flight for “aerial navigation”. I was greatly interested in your work with kites; but I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other than ballooning or of expectation of good results from any of the trials we hear of. So you will understand that I would not care to be a member of the aëronautical Society.
There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.
There cannot be a greater mistake than that of looking superciliously upon the practical applications of science. The life and soul of science is its practical application; and just as the great advances in mathematics have been made through the desire of discovering the solution of problems which were of a highly practical kind in mathematical science, so in physical science many of the greatest advances that have been made from the beginning of the world to the present time have been made in earnest desire to turn the knowledge of the properties of matter to some purpose useful to mankind.
To live among friends is the primary essential of happiness.
Symmetrical equations are good in their place, but 'vector' is a useless survival, or offshoot from quaternions, and has never been of the slightest use to any creature.
Thomson
I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be.
Do not imagine that mathematics is hard and crabbed, and repulsive to common sense. It is merely the etherealization of common sense.
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