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James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish physicist

James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish physicist

H413/0197

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

James Maxwell. Engraving of James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), Scottish physicist. Maxwell graduated in mathematics and applied his mathematical skills to various physical problems. In 1864 he formulat- ed Maxwell's equations, which joined together the different phenomena of electricity and magnetism into a new electro-magnetic theory. He also worked out, independently of Boltzmann, the Maxwell- Boltzmann distribution of velocities for the molecules of a gas, which shows how they depend on the temperature of the gas. In 1857 he established theoretically the nature of the rings of the planet Saturn, a result later confirmed by Keeler. Maxwell demonstrated colour photography in 1861.

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