The Life of James Clerk Maxwell: With a Selection from his Correspondence and Occasional Writings and a Sketch of his Contributions to Science

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James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879) was a Scottish physicist well-known for his extensive work with electromagnetism, colour analysis, and kinetic theory. Considered by many to be a giant in his field with significant influence on the physicists who would follow, Maxwell spent time as a professor at Aberdeen University, King's College, London, and Cambridge. This 1882 Life by his friend Lewis Campbell and natural philosopher William Garnett represents an important – and lengthy – investigation into Maxwell's life and thought. Part I is concerned with biographical matters while the second section focuses upon his scientific mind. A third part contains Maxwell's poetry, so included because the poems are 'characteristic of him' and have 'curious biographical interest'. At nearly 700 pages, the Life represents an important starting point for those curious about the state of theoretical physics and the person in whom it reached its culmination in the nineteenth century.

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Table of Contents

Preface; Part I. Biographical Outline: 1. Birth and parentage; 2. Glenlair - childhood, 1831–1841; 3. Boyhood, 1841–1844; 4. Adolescence, 1844–1847; 5. Opening manhood, 1847–1850; 6. Undergraduate life at Cambridge, 1850–1854; 7. Bachelor-scholar and fellow of Trinity, 1854–1856; 8. Essays at Cambridge, 1853–1856; 9. Death of his father. Professorship at Aberdeen, 1856–1857; 10. Aberdeen. Marriage, 1857–1860; 11. King's College, London. Glenair, 1860–1870; 12. Cambridge, 1871–1879; 13. Illness and death, 1879; 14. Last essays at Cambridge; Part II. Contributions to Science: 1. Experiments on colour vision, and other contributions to optics; 2. Investigations respecting elastic solids; 3. Pure geometry; 4. Mechanics; 5. Saturn's rings; 6. Faraday's lines of force, and Maxwell's theory of the electromagnetic field; 7. Molecular physics; Part III. Poems: 1. Juvenile verses and translations; 2. Occasional pieces; 3. Serio-comic verse; Index.

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