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James Clerk Maxwell

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James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell (Born::June 13, 1831Died::November 5, 1879) was a Scottish physicist, best known for his formulation of the four equations dealing with electromagnetism (Maxwell's Equations). This work showed how magnetism, electricity, and light were all ruled by the same principles, laying the foundation for Einstein's theory of relativity as well as the technology of inventions from radio to cell phones to remote controls.


James Clerk Maxwell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 13, 1831. He was taught at home by his mother until she died when he was eight. Two years later he began formal schooling at Edinburgh Academy; at age 16 he enrolled in the University of Edinburgh, studying philosophy as well as physics. In 1850 he entered Cambridge University, and in 1856 he was appointed Professor of Natural Philosophy at Marischal College, Aberdeen. When he lost the position due to a merger, he was quickly appointed as chair at King's College London. After a few fruitful years, he retired to complete construction of his house at Glenlair before accepting the position as Professor of Experimental Physics at Cambridge in 1871. Shortly afterwards he published his famous Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism. He died of stomach cancer on November 5, 1879.

But James Clerk Maxwell's interests were not limited to electromagnetism; along with studies of Saturn's rings and color vision, he also held the firm position that God had created the universe, and it could not be any other way. He held that the uniformity of every atom points to an intended plan of an intelligent Designer. In addition, he used his tremendous skills as a mathematician to disprove the theory that the solar system had begun as a cloud of gas which slowly contracted to form the stars, planets, and such. His faith was the foundation for everything he did, from studying the laws of nature to teaching a class for working men to supporting his local church. His contributions as a Christian scientist and firm believer in Creation are invaluable.