A very Brief History of James Clerk Maxwell
Please note that in the YouTube description we have links to Discord, Patreon, and the sources that I referenced to be able to make this video. James Clerk Maxwell was a 19th century Scottish mathematician and scientist. He made fundamental contributions to mathematical physics, most notably in the kinetic theory of gases, which accurately explain the origin of temperature and help to develop the Maxwell Boltman Distribu.
Color photography presenting the first ever color photograph in an 1861 presentation, Saturn's Rings, which he mathematically proved over 100 years before the voy journey, verified his theory and electricity and magnetism creating Maxwell's equations, which scientists called the second Great unification in physics, unifying electricity, magnetism, and optics.
Maxwell's regarded as the founder of Modern Electrical Engineering and his contribution to lead the foundations for special relativity and quantum mechanics. Many physicists believed that he had the most influence on 20th century physics, and Einstein actually described Maxwell's work as the most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton
Maxwell was born on July 13th, 1831 in Edinboro, Scotland. Shortly after his birth, him and his family moved to a countryside home in Glen Lair, CACO Bashir. His parents were John, clerk Maxwell and Francis K. Little seems to be known about Francis, but John was a lawyer that came from a wealthy family from Penny Cook and added Maxwell to his name after inheriting an estate.
The couple met in their thirties, Francis, giving birth to Maxwell when she was almost 40, and he was their second attempt at having a. Their first child, Elizabeth died in infancy. Maxwell was raised a Christian attending both Calvinist Presbyterian and Episcopalian services due to his parents' respective denominations, and he converted to evangelical faith.
Later in his life. Maxwell's early education began at home, primarily being taught by his. He was noted as being markedly curious, relatively young, with a letter from April, 1834, describing him as tinkering with bell wires, deeply observing the flow of pond water into his home, and asking his mother to show him how everything worked, like doors and locks.
It was expected that Maxwell would be taught at home until the age of 13, but after suffering from abdominal cancer, Maxwell's mother died in December of 1839 when Maxwell was just eight years old. This led to him being taught by a 16 year old tutor who treated Maxwell rather harshly. John ended up dismissing the tutor in November of 1841, and it was decided that Maxwell would attend Edinboro Academy
during the academic. The family stayed at Maxwell's Aunt Isabella's home and stayed in Glen Lair during the summers, having been raised near isolation in Glen Leer. Maxwell had trouble adjusting to the academy. His mannerisms and homemade wardrobe apparently made quite a negative impression on his peers earning him the name Dafty.
Though his peers weren't very nice to him, Maxwell eventually made lifetime friendships. Lewis Campbell, a 19th century Scottish classical scholar, notable for his works on Sophocles and Play-Doh, and helping write the biography life of James Clark Maxwell and Peter Guthrie. Tate, a 19th century Scottish mathematical physicist.
Most notable for his work, treatise on natural philosophy, as well as his research and not theory, which contributed to the formation of topology as a mathematical. Tate described Maxwell initially as timid and boring, and the activities in which Maxwell took part were considered unintelligible by his peers.
According to another classmate of his one day, Maxwell stood up to his peers with such energy that he was never bullied by them again. Gradually gaining everyone's respect in the coming years, going on to win prize after prize, and school contests, including a mathematical medal and first place for both English and poetry.
In early 1846, the age of 14, Maxwell wrote his first mathematical paper entitled on the description of Oval Curves and those having a plurality of foci in which he generalized the definition of an ellipse and defined curves were There are more than two foci, the ideas that already been worked out by the likes of Descarte, but Maxwell simplified the cons.
Being a tremendous work from a 14 year old, the workers read to the Royal Society of Edinboro on April 6th, 1846.
In 1847, Maxwell began attending the University of Edinboro. According to Joseph John Thompson, who wrote on Maxwell. Maxwell interacted frequently with the most esteemed intellectuals at the University of Edinboro. They found him shy, strange, quite socially awkward, which would be a trend for his entire life, but nonetheless recognized how remarkable his abilities were.
People also found it difficult to follow. Maxwell's line of thinking when interacting as his men's creativity would cause him to jump from one subject to another before an idea could be properly digested by his re. In November of 1847, Maxwell was enrolled in three courses that would greatly influence him a mathematics course, lectured by Philip Kellend, a 19th century English mathematician.
Notable for his work on heat, light, and water waves, a physics course taught by James David Forbes, a 19th century Scottish physicist. Notable for his work on the conduction of heat and inventing the colored spinning. And a logic course taught by William Sterling Hamilton, a 19th century Scottish logician.
Notable for being among the first Scottish logicians to create the algebra of logic. Introducing the quantification of the predicate. Forbes was especially impactful seeming to have really motivated Maxwell's potent interest in the nature and perception of color. Despite all the work these classes provided, Maxwell didn't find the coursework that demanding, thus giving him plenty of time to throw himself into experimental work, especially in Glen Lair.
Through his experiments, which Forbes highly encouraged by giving Maxwell free use of any physics instruments, Forbes have cured. Maxwell discovered photo elasticity independent of its first discovery by David Brewster, and he produced two papers that were published in the philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of Edin.
The theory of Rolling Curbs read in February of 1849 and the equilibrium of Elastic solids read in February of 1850.
In October of 1850, Maxwell began attending Peter House Cambridge, but moved to Trinity College after his first term as he believed it would be easier to receive a fellowship in the. In November of 1851, Maxwell studied under William Hopkins, a 19th century English mathematician who become notable for his influence on great mathematicians being coined the senior Wrangler maker, a Wrangler being a student who gains first class honor in their final year of Cambridge's undergraduate mathematics program, Maxwell ended up getting the place of second Wrangler in 1854, just behind 19th century English mathematician Edward Ruth.
Notable for systematizing the mathematical theory of. And planting important seeds for modern control systems theory. Shortly after receiving his degree, Maxwell read his paper on the transformation of surfaces by bending to the Cambridge Philosophical Society, one of the few purely mathematical papers he'd written, emphasizing his growth as a mathematician.
After spending years at Trinity College, Maxwell wished to stay and applied to a fellowship. He figured it would take years. He continued to research and provided tutoring to supplement his income while he waited on the fellowship verdict. In March of 1855, Maxwell read a paper of his to the Royal Society of Edinboro, titled Experiments on Color, which laid out the principles of color combination in the work he was able to demonstrate that white light will result from a mixture of red, green, and blue light.
In October, 1855, Maxwell was made a fellow at Trinity College far sooner than he'd expected. In early 1856, Maxwell's father grew ill and he wished to spend more time with his. Forbes Urged Maxwell to apply for the Chair of Natural Philosophy at Marshal College of Aberdeen. During Easter vacation, Maxwell spent time with his father in Glen Lair, who ended up dying on April 3rd, 1856.
Maxwell mourned and returned to Cambridge as he intended, but shortly after returning, he was informed that he'd gotten the post at Marshall College and moved to Aberdeen in November of 1850.
For the academic year, Maxwell stayed with his cousin in Aberdeen. His cousin was William Dice. K a Scottish engineer. Notable for being the main contributor to work done on Aberdeen Harbor in the late 19th century. Outside of the academic year, Maxwell spent his time in Glen Lair at the home he inherited from his late father.
Since Maxwell was the chair of natural philosophy, he had to take on other responsibilities outside of his. Like constructing syllabi as well as preparing and giving lectures, of which he committed 15 hours a week to including a free lecture to a local college. When Maxwell was able to focus on research, he devoted his attention toward the motion of Saturn's rings.
This was the subject of the Adams Prize announced in 1857 by St. John's College of Cambridge, and Maxwell was immediately drawn in him and Tate had previously studied the problem in the late 1840s. So Maxwell had had. He submitted his essay on the subject two years later entitled on the Stability of the Motion of Saturn's Rings being the only one to have enough headway on the topic to actually be able to submit.
In the essay, he showed mathematically that stability could only be achieved if the rings consisted of numerous solid particles, which wasn't confirmed officially until the Voyager spacecraft's journey in the early 1980. He was awarded 130 quid for the essay, and the quality of the essay was hailed by George Biddle Airy, a 19th century English mathematician and astronomer.
Notable for his research on planetary orbits, which included measuring the mean density of the Earth. In 1857, Maxwell became friends with the principal of Marshal, the Reverend Daniel doer. Soon after meeting Doer Maxwell met doer's daughter Katherine Mary, who was seven years older than Max. Love struck and the pair were engaged in February of 1858, marrying in June of that same year.
Katherine often helped in Maxwell's lab and did experiments herself on viscosity. In 1859, Forbes moved from the University of Edinburg to the University of St. Andrews, leaving the chair of Natural Philosophy vacant. Both Maxwell and Tate hopped on the opportunity implied to the. Ultimately, Tate was chosen as he was claimed to be better suited to teach students who had more academic struggles.
John Ambrose Fleming, a 19th and 20th century electrical engineer and physicist, notable for inventing the first vacuum tube and establishing the right hand rule, expressed that Maxwell's teaching could be kind of hard to follow, that it was often obscure, and he had a paradoxical and elusive way of speak.
However, George Gabriel Stokes, a 19th century Irish English physicist and mathematician, notable for his contributions of fluid mechanics, including the Navier Stokes equations, expressed that Maxwell gave surprisingly clear explanations. After attending one of his geometry lectures in 1860, Marshall College merged with King's College of Aberdeen to become the University of Aber.
This led to Maxwell being laid off. But fortunately, he was able to take up the chair of natural Philosophy at King's College of London. And so later that year, Maxwell and Catherine moved to London after recovering from a near fatal bout of smallpox. The posts at King's College was more demanding than that of Aberdeen being required to lecture nine months outta the year, including evening lectures to artisans.
Despite this, Maxwell did some of his most important work at King's College. In 1861, Maxwell published a four-part paper titled On Physical Lines of Force influenced by a Paper he'd written and read to the Cambridge Philosophical Society in 1855 called On Faraday's Lines of force. This 1861 work was revolutionary in classical electrodynamics and helped tremendously with developing vector calculus.
It is considered to be one of the most historically significant publications in physics, regarded as up there with Newton's Principia Mathematica. Within the work. Maxwell arrived his famous equations of electromagnetism, coined now as Maxwell's equations, which are a set of 20 partial differential equations that describe how electric and magnetic fields propagate, interact, and are influenced by objects.
Oliver Heavyside, a 19th and 20th century English mathematician and physic. Notable for bringing complex numbers into circuit analysis and independently developing vector calculus. Rewrote 12 of the 20 equations into the four equations that are best known today. It must be noted that it's easier to modify from the original 20 equations to be compatible with quantum mechanics besides Maxwell's equations.
The work also calculated that the speed of propagation of an electromagnetic field is approximately that of the speed of light. Proposing that the phenomena of light is therefore an electromagnetic phenomenon, which Maxwell further expanded upon. Its 1864 paper, a dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field.
At another point in 1861, Maxwell gave a lecture on color theory to the Royal Institution of London, providing the world's first demonstration of color. Thomas Sutton, the inventor of the single lens reflex camera took the photo photographing a tartan ribbon three times through red, green, and blue filters.
There was a fourth photo taken through a yellow filter, but this was not used in the demonstration. The experiment was far from perfect as Sutton's photo plates were insensitive to red and barely sensitive to green, but was nonetheless a remarkable push in the right. In 1865, Maxwell left King's College to live on his estate in Glen Lair with Katherine, where he continued to produce high quality work.
He occasionally traveled to Cambridge, but mostly wished to stay back in Glen Lair. In 1866, Maxwell continued to work on the kinetic theory of gases that he begun. While in Aberdeen, he treated gases statistically, which in turn developed statistical mechanics showing the temperatures in heat involved only molecular move.
That molecules at a high temperature have a high probability of moving toward those at low temperatures, but is not guaranteed. The theory today is coined the Maxwell Boltzmann Kinetic Theory of Gases. In 1871, Maxwell wrote a textbook leveraging much of the 1866 work and then some titled Theory of Heat, as well as showing the first explicit use of dimensional analysis, a system he'd proposed while at King's.
Later in 1871, Maxwell reluctantly accepted an offer from Cambridge to be the first Cavendish professor of physics designing the Cavendish lab named after Henry Cavendish, who was a primarily 18th century scientist. Notable for discovering hydrogen Maxwell also helped set up the lab, and it was formally opened in June of 1870.
From 1874 to 1879, Maxwell edited Cavendish's papers, which consisted of rummaging through and repeating experiments from Cavendish's to publish papers and 20 packages of manuscripts consisting of mathematical and experimental electricity research. What resulted from these efforts was the work the electrical researchers of the Honorable Henry Kane, published by Maxwell in 1879.
In April of 1879, Maxwell began to have difficulty swallowing the first symptom of his abdominal cancer. In May of 1879, Maxwell was well enough to give one final lecture. Fleming commenting how surprisingly Lucid Maxwell was for someone who was dying. Him and Katherine returned to Glen that summer. Both Ill Maxwell's Health continued to plummet, but despite the pain he suffered, he still appeared cheerful through it all.
In October of 1879, Maxwell and Catherine returned to Cambridge. Maxwell, now barely able to walk. He died about a month later on November 5th, 1879. His doctor commenting that he'd never seen someone die more consciously and more calmly. Maxwell was buried at Parton Kirk near Castle Douglas. Well, there you have it.
Another brief history of a remarkable mathematic. We will end on a quote from Carl Sagan, a 20th century American planetary physicist. Notable for his research on extraterrestrial life. The equations were to represent nature, and nature is Maxwell believed beautiful and elegant. This essentially aesthetic judgment by a nerdish physicist, entirely unknown except to a few other academic scientists, has done more to shape our civiliz.
Than any 10 recent presidents and prime ministers. If you enjoyed the video, please click that like button and subscribe, and if you generally just enjoy the content of this channel, please consider supporting on Patreon. As always, thank you for watching and I'll catch you next time.