Reference Entry

Thomson, Sir William (1824–1907)

Edited by Dinah Birch

in The Oxford Companion to English Literature

Seventh edition

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780192806871
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191735066
Thomson, Sir William (1824–1907)

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born in Belfast and educated at Glasgow, where he later became professor of natural philosophy, and at Peterhouse, Cambridge. His formulation of the second law of thermodynamics, predicting that the world would sooner or later suffer a heat death as a result of entropy, contributed significantly to late 19th‐century pessimism. The ignorance of this law displayed by most 20th‐century literary intellectuals was used as an illustration of the gap between the ...

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Subjects: Literary Studies (British and Irish)

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