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The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Maxwell, James Clerk

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MAXWELL, James Clerk, an English physicist, born in Edinburgh in 1831. He was educated at the academy and university of Edinburgh and Trinity college, Cambridge, graduating at the last institution in 1854. In 1856 he was appointed professor of natural philosophy in Marischal college, Aberdeen, and in 1860 in King's college, London, where he remained till 1865. In 1871 he became professor of experimental physics in the university of Cambridge. He has published “Essay on the Stability of the Motion of Saturn's Rings” (London, 1859), “Theory of Heat” (12mo, 1871), and “Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism” (2 vols. 8vo, 1873). The last named work possesses much interest beyond its mere value as a scientific treatise, being a translation into mathematical form of Faraday's “Experimental Researches in Electricity.” Mr. Maxwell with many others regards Faraday's as a profound mathematical mind, although not familiar with technical mathematical language, and believes that many methods of research employed by mathematicians could be better expressed “in terms of ideas derived from Faraday than in their original form.”