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Celebrating World Refrigeration Day

UK: The Cooling Post joins with the HVACR industry in celebrating World Refrigeration Day and pays homage to thermodynamics pioneer Lord Kelvin on the bicentenary of his birth.

Taking the theme of “temperature matters”, today’s World Refrigeration Day turns global attention on the refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pump industry and underscores its impact beyond mere cooling and heating.

Around the world, the day will highlight the sector’s role in maintaining food and medicine supply chains, effective and sustainable heating, and creating healthier, comfortable environments with cleaner air.

Significantly, this year’s World Refrigeration Day coincides with the 200th anniversary of the birth of William Thomson, the 1st Baron Kelvin, the thermodynamics pioneer known for the absolute temperature scale.

Although the existence of a coldest possible temperature, absolute zero, was recognised, it was Kelvin who, in 1848, determined that it was, in fact, -273ºC. As a result, the units of absolute temperatures are named in his honour. 

Born in Belfast in 1824, William Thomson’s contributions to mathematics and science extended far beyond refrigeration. He moved to Glasgow when he was just eight years old and would later become professor of natural philosophy at the University of Glasgow, a position he would hold for 53 years. 

It was here that he undertook significant research and mathematical analysis of electricity, forging a career as an electrical telegraph engineer and inventor. He was knighted in 1866 for his work on the transatlantic telegraph project. Thomson also had extensive maritime interests and worked on the previously unreliable mariner’s compass.

He became the first scientist to be elevated to the House of Lords in 1892 and died on 17 December 1907 at the age of 83.

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