Albert Einstein characterized the work of James Clerk Maxwell as the "most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton." Max Planck went even further, declaring that "he achieved greatness unequalled," and Richard Feynman asserted that "From a long view of the history of mankind — seen from, say, ten thousand years from now — there can be little doubt that the most significant event of the nineteenth century will be judged as Maxwell's discovery of the laws of electrodynamics."
Maxwell made numerous other contributions to the advancement of science, but the greatest work of his life was devoted to electricity. An Elementary Treatise on Electricity appeared at a time when very few books on electrical measurements were available to students, and its compact treatment not only elucidates the theory of electricity but also serves to develop electrical ideas in readers' minds. The author describes experiments that demonstrate the principal facts relating an electric charge as a quantity capable of being measured, deductions from these facts, and the exhibition of electrical phenomena.
This volume, published posthumously from Maxwell's lecture notes at the Cavendish Laboratory — which he founded at the University of Cambridge — is supplemented by a selection of articles from his landmark book, Electricity and Magnetism. A classic of science, this volume is an eminently suitable text for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students.
James Clerk Maxwell: In His Own Words — And Others
Dover reprinted Maxwell's Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism in 1954, surely one of the first classics of scientific literature over a thousand pages in length to be given new life and accessibility to students and researchers as a result of the paperback revolution of the 1950s. Matter and Motion followed in 1991 and Theory of Heat in 2001.
Some towering figures in science have to speak for themselves. Such is James Clerk Maxwell (1813–1879), the Scottish physicist and mathematician who formulated the basic equations of classical electromagnetic theory.
In the Author's Own Words:
"We may find illustrations of the highest doctrines of science in games and gymnastics, in traveling by land and by water, in storms of the air and of the sea, and wherever there is matter in motion."
"The 2nd law of thermodynamics has the same degree of truth as the statement that if you throw a tumblerful of water into the sea, you cannot get the same tumblerful of water out again." — James Clerk Maxwell
Critical Acclaim for James Clerk Maxwell:
"From a long view of the history of mankind — seen from, say, ten thousand years from now — there can be little doubt that the most significant event of the 19th century will be judged as Maxwell's discovery of the laws of electrodynamics. The American Civil War will pale into provincial insignificance in comparison with this important scientific event of the same decade." — Richard P. Feynman
"Maxwell's equations have had a greater impact on human history than any ten presidents." — Carl Sagan
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|Author/Editor||James Clerk Maxwell|
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