William Thomson is a Scottish mathematician, physicist, and engineer, known for various things most prominent of which are the Joule-Thomson Effect, and the concept of Absolute Zero.
He was, for most part of his life, a Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Glaslow, which he refused to leave until his retirement.
He was a member of various orders and other bodies. Suffixes to his name include:
- Order of Merit (Commonwealth)
- Royal Victorian Order
- Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council
- Presidents of the Royal Society
- Presidents of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
In 1892, he became the first English (UK) Scientist to be elevated to the House of Lords, where he adopted the title Baron Kelvin of Largs (and hence, he's often described as Lord Kelvin). The name was derived from River Kelvin, which passes through his laboratory in the university.
The ennoblement, is, aside from his contributions to thermodynamics, due to his opposition to the Irish Home Rule. Prior to this, he was a liberal, but became a Liberal Unionist. The home rule demanded self-government within the UK of Britain and Ireland. He was against this as he believed this would damage Ireland's interests, and create instability in its economic affairs and society.