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. (His birthplace now houses a museum operated by the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation.) Today on 13 June 2018 we are celebrating his 187th birthday.
James Clerk Maxwell Short Biography
James C. Maxwell was a 19th century pioneer in chemistry and physics who articulated the idea of electromagnetism.
He is regarded by most modern physicists as the scientist of the 19th century who had the greatest influence on 20th-century physics, and he is ranked with Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein for the fundamental nature of his contributions. In 1931, on the 100th anniversary of Maxwell’s birth, Einstein described the change in the conception of reality in physics that resulted from Maxwell’s work as “the most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton.”
James Clerk Maxwell Inventions and Achievement
Maxwell is best known for his research in electromagnetic radiation, which unites the sciences of electricity, magnetism and optics. Below is his some of the most important inventions which has made the world more colourful and advanced.
- The first colour photograph
- Mixing colours of light
- Kinetic theory of gases
- Rings of Saturn
James Clerk Maxwell Awards
Maxwell was awarded the £130 Adams Prize in 1859 for his essay “On the stability of the motion of Saturn’s rings”; he was the only entrant to have made enough headway to submit an entry. Here is some of the awards which he awarded during his inventory period.
- Smith’s Prize (1854)
- Adams Prize (1857)
- Rumford Medal (1860)
- Keith Prize (1869–71)
James Clerk Maxwell Photos