The Natural Philosophy Laboratory in the University of Glasgow, 1929. The study of Natural Philosophy in Glasgow University dates back to 1577. Notable occupants of the Chair have included Robert Dick and John Anderson, and the opportunities provided by the department have attracted scientists such as James Watt, a technician who perfected his steam engine in one of the department's rooms.
In 1846 William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin), was appointed Professor of Natural Philosophy. Lord Kelvin established a large experimental laboratory to create a suitable environment for both teaching and research, especially in thermodynamics, magnetism/electricity and telegraphy.
In 1893 the Chair of Natural Philosophy was transferred to the new Faculty of Science, and a new Natural Philosophy building was erected in 1906. The departments of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy merged in 1986 to form the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Reference: Glasgow University Archive Services, PH/PR1073
University of Glasgow
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