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... that, in a few years, all great physical constants will have been approximately estimated, and that the only occupation which will be left to men of science will be to carry these measurements to another place of decimals.

Oct 04, 2015

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Random Person of the Day: James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell (13 June 1831 - 5 November 1879) was a Scottish mathematician and theoretical physicist. His most significant achievement was aggregating a set of equations in electricity, magnetism and inductance — Maxwell's equations — including an important modification of Ampère's Circuital Law. It was the most unified model of electromagnetism yet. It is famous for introducing to the physics community a detailed model of light as an electromagnetic phenomenon, building upon the earlier hypothesis advanced by Faraday (Faraday Effect).

He also developed the Maxwell distribution, a statistical means to describe aspects of the kinetic theory of gases. These two discoveries helped usher in the era of modern physics, laying the foundation for future work in such fields as special relativity and quantum mechanics. He is also known for creating the first true colour photograph in 1861.

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