James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish physicist

James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish physicist


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James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), Scottish physicist. Maxwell's major work was on light and electromagnetic waves. He showed that oscillating charges produced waves in an electromagnetic field, and that these waves had the same velocity as light. This led him to predict other forms of electromagnetic radiation, such as radio waves. He introduced the value 'c' for the speed of light, worked on the motions of molecules in a gas, and showed that Saturn's rings must be composed of numerous particles. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1861. Portrait from 'History of the Institution of Electrical Engineers 1871-1931' (Appleyard, 1939).

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