The Natural Philosophy of James Clerk Maxwell

The Natural Philosophy of James Clerk Maxwell

by P. M. Harman
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 052100585X

ISBN-13: 9780521005852

Pub. Date: 11/28/2005

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) was the most important theoretical physicist in the two centuries separating Newton and Einstein. He created the electromagnetic theory of light and made important contributions to the theory of gases. This scientific biography and introduction to Maxwell's physics and philosophy amply shows how he made revolutionary advances in

Overview

James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) was the most important theoretical physicist in the two centuries separating Newton and Einstein. He created the electromagnetic theory of light and made important contributions to the theory of gases. This scientific biography and introduction to Maxwell's physics and philosophy amply shows how he made revolutionary advances in theoretical physics by combining a firm grasp of physical reality with great mathematical ability.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521005852
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
11/28/2005
Edition description:
1 PBK ED
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.55(d)

Table of Contents

Prefacexi
List of abbreviationsxiii
List of platesxiv
IIntroduction: Maxwell and the history of physics1
IIFormative influences13
1The scientific culture of Edinburgh13
2Cambridge: the Mathematical Tripos19
3Philosophical education: Edinburgh and Cambridge27
IIIEdinburgh physics and Cambridge mathematics37
1Casting light on colours37
2On Saturn's rings48
3Physics and metrology57
IVPhysical and geometrical analogy71
1The language of field theory: Faraday and Thomson71
2Physical analogy and field theory81
VModels and mechanisms91
1Mechanics and molecules: the kinetic theory of gases91
2Ether models: the electromagnetic theory of light98
VIDynamical and statistical explanation113
1The dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field113
2Statistical physics124
3The 'demon' and the second law of thermodynamics134
VIIGeometry and physics145
1Vectors: the geometry of field theory145
2'Geometry of position': topology and projective geometry154
VIIIPhysical reality: ether and matter162
1Ether, field, and gravity162
2Molecules175
IXPhysics and metaphysics188
1Matter and dynamics188
2Materialism and determinism197
Notes209
Index224

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >