Culture

James Clerk Maxwell: “A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field” #OnThisDay

 “We have strong reason to conclude that light itself – including radiant heat and other radiation, if any – is an electromagnetic disturbance in the form of waves propagated through the electro-magnetic field according to electro-magnetic laws.”


On this day 8th of December 1864 James Clerk Maxwell’s paper “A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field” is 1st read by the Royal Society in London (published by the Royal Society 1865).

Young James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell is one of the greatest scientists both in his own time and today.

He was born in Edinburgh in 1831. Eventually the family moved to Glenlair, in Kirkcudbrightshire. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy and then Edinburgh University.

James Clerk Maxwell is the father of modern physics.

Albert Einstein said of Maxwell:

“The special theory of relativity owes its origins to Maxwell’s equations of the electromagnetic field.”

“Since Maxwell’s time, physical reality has been thought of as represented by continuous fields, and not capable of any mechanical interpretation.  This change in the conception of reality is the most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton”

Click on this link to find out more about James Clerk Maxwell: James Clerk Maxwell Foundation

2 replies »

  1. Our home-grown Orcadian physicist, Howie Firth, says………..

    “It’s tremendous to see this! It’s so good that the Orkney News has highlighted Maxwell today – what a truly amazing man he was. Here is a link to a piece of music, Maxwell’s Light, by an Orcadian composer:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZk9lL_TUXs

Leave a Reply to Bernie Bell Cancel reply