James Prescott Joule

1818 - 1889

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James Prescott Joule (; 24 December 1818 – 11 October 1889) was an English physicist, mathematician and brewer, born in Salford, Lancashire. Joule studied the nature of heat, and discovered its relationship to mechanical work. This led to the law of conservation of energy, which in turn led to the development of the first law of thermodynamics. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of James Prescott Joule has received more than 1,156,168 page views. His biography is available in 116 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 113 in 2019). James Prescott Joule is the 13th most popular physicist (down from 12th in 2019), the 33rd most popular biography from United Kingdom (up from 37th in 2019) and the 4th most popular British Physicist.

James Prescott Joule was most famous for his work in thermodynamics. He was the first to calculate the mechanical equivalent of heat, which is the amount of work that can be done by a certain amount of heat.

Memorability Metrics

  • 1.2M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 80.53

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 116

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 18.78

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.30

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)


Among physicists, James Prescott Joule ranks 13 out of 851Before him are Max Planck, Alessandro Volta, Hans Christian Ørsted, Pierre Curie, Ernest Rutherford, and Niels Bohr. After him are Robert Hooke, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Werner Heisenberg, Evangelista Torricelli, Henri Becquerel, and Enrico Fermi.

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Among people born in 1818, James Prescott Joule ranks 2Before him is Karl Marx. After him are Emily Brontë, Alexander II of Russia, Ignaz Semmelweis, Ivan Turgenev, Christian IX of Denmark, Charles Gounod, Jacob Burckhardt, Lewis H. Morgan, Marius Petipa, and Rudolf von Jhering. Among people deceased in 1889, James Prescott Joule ranks 1After him are Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, Antonio Meucci, Baroness Mary Vetsera, Jefferson Davis, Michel Eugène Chevreul, Alexandre Cabanel, Luís I of Portugal, Mihai Eminescu, Nikolay Chernyshevsky, Father Damien, and Wilkie Collins.

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In United Kingdom

Among people born in United Kingdom, James Prescott Joule ranks 33 out of 8,785Before him are Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (1947), Charles Dickens (1812), Margaret Thatcher (1925), Anne Boleyn (1501), Alexander Fleming (1881), and James Cook (1728). After him are Alexander Graham Bell (1847), Jane Austen (1775), Robert Hooke (1635), David Hume (1711), Mary I of England (1516), and John Maynard Keynes (1883).

Among PHYSICISTS In United Kingdom

Among physicists born in United Kingdom, James Prescott Joule ranks 4Before him are Isaac Newton (1643), Stephen Hawking (1942), and Michael Faraday (1791). After him are Robert Hooke (1635), James Clerk Maxwell (1831), Paul Dirac (1902), J. J. Thomson (1856), William Gilbert (1544), William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (1824), Thomas Young (1773), and James Chadwick (1891).