James Thomson (engineer)

James Thomson (February 16, 1822 - May 8, 1892) was an Irish engineer and physicist whose reputation would have been substantial had it not been overshadowed by that of his brother William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin.

Born in Belfast, Thomson was interested in engineering from an early age and served as apprentice at the Horseley Ironworks, Tipton, and under John MacNeill and William Fairbairn. However, he was a sickly youth and much of his time was given to theoretical pursuits in collaboration with his brother and in interpreting James David Forbes' measurements of glacial motion. However, he went on to develop a substantial reputation as an engineer. He invented the differential analyzer, an analog computer to solve differential equations, in 1876.

Bibliography

*cite book | author=Thomson, J. | title=Collected Papers in Physics and Engineering | editor=J. Thomson and J. Larmor (eds) | year=1912
*cite web | author=Smith, C. | title=Thomson, James (1822–1892) | work=Oxford Dictionary of National Biography | year=2004 | url=http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/27312 | accessdate=2006-06-27 (subscription required)

External links

* [http://www.archive.org/details/collectedpapersi00thomrich "Collected papers in physics and engineering" (Cambridge University Press, 1912)]


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