The Life of James Clerk Maxwell

Born June 13, 18Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland

Enrolled in University of Edinburgh at the age of 16

Studied for 3 years then attended Cambridge's Trinity College

Graduated in 1854

Married Katherine Mary Dewar in 1858

The Life of James Clerk Maxwell Cont. 

Taught at Trinity College

Joined Physics faculty at Marischal College

Worked on several advancements in scientific fields (Theory of Saturn Rings, Electromagnetism, and Equations) 

Died in Cambridge, England on November 25, 1879 from abdominal cancer


Maxwell realized that there was relations between Electromagnetic waves and light

Four mathematical equations which described the relation between them

The Four Equations

All of these equations explain the relation between electricity and magnetic fields, how they behave and how they influence objects.

These Equations are basically laws, like gravity. 

Saturn's Rings

Maxwell also made contributions to Astronomy

Most astronomers of the time believed that Saturn's Rings were liquid

Maxwell believed that instead they were composed of small orbiting bodies

Created a model that showed that at fast speeds it gave the orbiting bodies the appearance of waves


Albert Einstein and James Clerk Maxwell

While James Clerk Maxwell laid down the foundation of electromagnetism and light using his four equations, he wasn't the only one who used them. 

Albert Einstein used a lot of Maxwell's work included in his theory of relativity. 

After Maxwell discovered that light is a form of electromagnetic radiation that provides foundation for Einstein's theory that explains the relationship between energy, mass, and velocity. 

Modern Contributions

The Electromagnetic field traveling which creates light

Oscillating electric and magnetic fields

Four Equations

Concept of electromagnetic field

Einstein theory of relativity

Optics and Color 

First color photograph

Modern Contributions Cont.

Explained Color blindness

Kinetic Theory for gases (Maxwell Distribution)


Control theory used in centrifugal governor used in steam engines

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Public - 9/20/16, 12:22 PM