# James Clerk Maxwell

**MaxwellJ. C. MaxwellJames MaxwellClerk MaxwellJames C. MaxwellMaxwell, James ClerkJames Clerk-MaxwellJ.C. MaxwellMaxwell, J.C.Maxwellian**

James Clerk Maxwell (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics.wikipedia

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### A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field

**Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Fieldelectromagnetic theory of lighttheory**

With the publication of "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" in 1865, Maxwell demonstrated that electric and magnetic fields travel through space as waves moving at the speed of light.

"A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" is a paper by James Clerk Maxwell on electromagnetism, published in 1865.

### Maxwell's equations

**Maxwell equationsMaxwell equationMaxwell’s equations**

Maxwell's equations for electromagnetism have been called the "second great unification in physics" after the first one realised by Isaac Newton.

The equations are named after the physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell, who published an early form of the equations that included the Lorentz force law between 1861 and 1862.

### Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution

**MaxwellianMaxwell distributionMaxwell-Boltzmann distribution**

He helped develop the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution, a statistical means of describing aspects of the kinetic theory of gases.

In physics (in particular in statistical mechanics), the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution is a particular probability distribution named after James Clerk Maxwell and Ludwig Boltzmann.

### Speed of light

**clight speedspeed of light in vacuum**

With the publication of "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" in 1865, Maxwell demonstrated that electric and magnetic fields travel through space as waves moving at the speed of light.

In 1865, James Clerk Maxwell proposed that light was an electromagnetic wave, and therefore travelled at the speed

### Electrical engineering

**electrical engineerelectricalElectrical and Electronics Engineering**

Maxwell is also regarded as a founder of the modern field of electrical engineering.

Notable developments in this century include the work of Hans Christian Ørsted who discovered in 1820 that an electric current produces a magnetic field that will deflect a compass needle, of William Sturgeon who, in 1825 invented the electromagnet, of Joseph Henry and Edward Davy who invented the electrical relay in 1835, of Georg Ohm, who in 1827 quantified the relationship between the electric current and potential difference in a conductor, of Michael Faraday (the discoverer of electromagnetic induction in 1831), and of James Clerk Maxwell, who in 1873 published a unified theory of electricity and magnetism in his treatise Electricity and Magnetism.

### Electromagnetic radiation

**electromagnetic waveelectromagnetic waveselectromagnetic**

His most notable achievement was to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for the first time electricity, magnetism, and light as different manifestations of the same phenomenon.

James Clerk Maxwell derived a wave form of the electric and magnetic equations, thus uncovering the wave-like nature of electric and magnetic fields and their symmetry.

### James Clerk Maxwell Foundation

**James Clerk Maxwell Museum**

(His birthplace now houses a museum operated by the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation.) His father was a man of comfortable means of the Clerk family of Penicuik, holders of the baronetcy of Clerk of Penicuik.

By supporting physics and mathematics, it honours one of the greatest of physicists, James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879), and works to increase the public awareness of science.

### Magnetic field

**magnetic fieldsmagneticmagnetic flux density**

With the publication of "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" in 1865, Maxwell demonstrated that electric and magnetic fields travel through space as waves moving at the speed of light.

Between 1861 and 1865, James Clerk Maxwell developed and published Maxwell's equations, which explained and united all of classical electricity and magnetism.

### John Clerk Maxwell of Middlebie

**John Clerk-Maxwell of MiddlebieJohn Clerk MaxwellMaxwell's father**

James Clerk Maxwell was born on 13 June 1831 at 14 India Street, Edinburgh, to John Clerk Maxwell of Middlebie, an advocate, and Frances Cay daughter of Robert Hodshon Cay and sister of John Cay.

John Clerk (later Clerk Maxwell) of Middlebie (1790–1856) was a Scottish advocate and father of the mathematical physicist James Clerk Maxwell.

### Magnetism

**magneticmagneticsmagnetic properties**

His most notable achievement was to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for the first time electricity, magnetism, and light as different manifestations of the same phenomenon.

James Clerk Maxwell synthesized and expanded these insights into Maxwell's equations, unifying electricity, magnetism, and optics into the field of electromagnetism.

### Radio wave

**radio wavesradioradio signal**

The unification of light and electrical phenomena led his prediction of the existence of radio waves.

Radio waves were first predicted by mathematical work done in 1867 by British mathematical physicist James Clerk Maxwell.

### Robert Hodshon Cay

James Clerk Maxwell was born on 13 June 1831 at 14 India Street, Edinburgh, to John Clerk Maxwell of Middlebie, an advocate, and Frances Cay daughter of Robert Hodshon Cay and sister of John Cay.

He was husband of the artist Elizabeth Liddell, father of John Cay FRSE and maternal grandfather of James Clerk Maxwell.

### Kinetic theory of gases

**kinetic theorythermal motionkinetic**

He helped develop the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution, a statistical means of describing aspects of the kinetic theory of gases.

In 1859, after reading a paper on the diffusion of molecules by Rudolf Clausius, Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell formulated the Maxwell distribution of molecular velocities, which gave the proportion of molecules having a certain velocity in a specific range.

### William Dyce Cay

James was a first cousin of both the artist Jemima Blackburn (the daughter of his father's sister) and the civil engineer William Dyce Cay (the son of his mother's brother).

He was described by his cousin, James Clerk Maxwell, as a "watery engineer".

### John Cay

**John**

James Clerk Maxwell was born on 13 June 1831 at 14 India Street, Edinburgh, to John Clerk Maxwell of Middlebie, an advocate, and Frances Cay daughter of Robert Hodshon Cay and sister of John Cay.

He was the maternal uncle of James Clerk Maxwell.

### Mathematical physics

**mathematical physicistmathematicalmathematical physicists**

James Clerk Maxwell (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics.

Mid-19th century, the Scottish James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879) reduced electricity and magnetism to Maxwell's electromagnetic field theory, whittled down by others to the four Maxwell's equations.

### University of Cambridge

**Cambridge UniversityCambridgeUniversity**

He had the opportunity to attend the University of Cambridge, but decided, after his first term, to complete the full course of his undergraduate studies at Edinburgh.

The Cambridge Mathematical Tripos is competitive and has helped produce some of the most famous names in British science, including James Clerk Maxwell, Lord Kelvin and Lord Rayleigh.

### Trinity College, Cambridge

**Trinity CollegeTrinityTrinity College Cambridge**

He initially attended Peterhouse, however before the end of his first term transferred to Trinity, where he believed it would be easier to obtain a fellowship.

Trinity alumni include six British prime ministers (all Tory or Whig/Liberal), physicists Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, Ernest Rutherford and Niels Bohr, mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, the poet Lord Byron, historians Lord Macaulay, G. M. Trevelyan and E.H. Carr, philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell (whom it expelled before reaccepting), and Soviet spies Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, and Anthony Blunt.

### Robert Davidson (inventor)

**Robert Davidson**

James' father took him to Robert Davidson's demonstration of electric propulsion and magnetic force on February 12, 1842, an experience with profound implications for the boy.

Davidson staged an exhibition of electrical machinery at Aberdeen, Scotland in 1840, Edinburgh, one year later—where it was visited by the young James Clerk Maxwell and later at the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly in London, where he hoped to attract sponsorship for his work.

### Jemima Blackburn

**Jemima WedderburnMrs. Hugh Blackburn**

James was a first cousin of both the artist Jemima Blackburn (the daughter of his father's sister) and the civil engineer William Dyce Cay (the son of his mother's brother).

On her mother's side, Jemima was the first cousin of James Clerk Maxwell, who lived with her family in Edinburgh when he was a schoolboy and she a young woman; she encouraged him to learn to draw.

### N-ellipse

**multifocal ellipsen''-ellipsen''–ellipse**

The work was not entirely original, since René Descartes had also examined the properties of such multifocal ellipses in the 17th century, but he had simplified their construction.

They were first investigated by James Clerk Maxwell in 1846.

### Isaac Newton

**NewtonSir Isaac NewtonNewtonian**

Maxwell's equations for electromagnetism have been called the "second great unification in physics" after the first one realised by Isaac Newton.

Albert Einstein kept a picture of Newton on his study wall alongside ones of Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell.

### Senior Wrangler (University of Cambridge)

**Senior WranglerList of Wranglers of the University of CambridgeSecond Wrangler**

In November 1851, Maxwell studied under William Hopkins, whose success in nurturing mathematical genius had earned him the nickname of "senior wrangler-maker".

Those who have achieved second place, known as Second Wranglers, include Alfred Marshall, James Clerk Maxwell, J. J. Thomson, Lord Kelvin, William Clifford, and William Whewell.

### Edinburgh Academy

**The Edinburgh AcademyEdinburgh Academical**

Maxwell was sent to the prestigious Edinburgh Academy.

In 2005 the 1909 science block was demolished and a new science block, the James Clerk Maxwell Centre, named in honour of the 19th century scientist and former pupil, was opened on 3 November 2006 by Lord Falconer of Thoroton.

### Katherine Clerk Maxwell

**Katherine DewarKatherine Mary Dewar**

Through him Maxwell met Dewar's daughter, Katherine Mary Dewar.

Katherine Mary Clerk Maxwell (née Dewar) (1824 – 12 December 1886), was a Scottish physical scientist best known for her observations which supported and contributed to the discoveries of her husband, James Clerk Maxwell.