Lord Kelvin is widely known for determining the correct value of absolute zero as approximately −273.15 Celsius. The existence of a lower limit to temperature was known prior to Lord Kelvin, as shown in "Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat", published by Sadi Carnot in French in 1824, the year of Lord Kelvin's birth. "Reflections" used −267 as an estimate of the absolute zero temperature. Absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in his honour.
On his ennoblement in 1892 in honour of his achievements in thermodynamics, and of his opposition to Irish Home Rule, he adopted the title Baron Kelvin, of Largs in the County of Ayr and is therefore often described as Lord Kelvin. He was the first UK scientist to be elevated to the House of Lords. The title refers to the River Kelvin, which flows close by his laboratory at the University of Glasgow. His home was the imposing red sandstone mansion Netherhall, in Largs on the Firth of Clyde. Despite offers of elevated posts from several world renowned universities Lord Kelvin refused to leave Glasgow, remaining Professor of Natural Philosophy for over 50 years, until his eventual retirement from that post. The Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow has a permanent exhibition on the work of Lord Kelvin including many of his original papers, instruments and other artefacts such as his smoking pipe.
Always active in industrial research and development, he was recruited around 1899 by George Eastman to serve as vice-chairman of the board of the British company Kodak Limited, affiliated with Eastman Kodak.
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