NT2574 : Statue of James Clerk Maxwell, Edinburgh

taken 7 years ago, near to Edinburgh, Great Britain

Statue of James Clerk Maxwell, Edinburgh
Statue of James Clerk Maxwell, Edinburgh
James Clerk Maxwell’s statue in George Street, Edinburgh was sculpted by Alexander Stoddart and cast by the Black Isle Bronze foundry, Nairn. It was unveiled on 25th November 2008; this photograph was taken on its second anniversary. Maxwell's stature as a physicist is comparable to Newton and Einstein, though he is not so well known generally.

Maxwell is shown holding his ‘colour top’, a spinning disc with sectors of coloured paper which he used to investigate the physiology of colour vision published in 1855. His pioneering work in colour led to him demonstrating the world’s first colour photograph in 1861.

His greatest legacy is his synthesis of electricity and magnetism, showing that the two are inextricably linked, leading to the concepts of electromagnetic waves that are now the basis for all radio communication, all optics and is one of the cornerstones of special relativity.

A small plaque on the E side of the plinth reproduces the four Maxwell Equations of electromagnetism.
James Clerk Maxwell
Maxwell (1831 – 1879) was born in Edinburgh, at 14 India Street, but spent his early years at Glenlair NX7572 : Glenlair House, the family estate in Galloway; his uncle was Sir George Clerk, baronet, of Penicuik House NT2159 : Penicuik House Project.
Maxwell’s work covered a wide area of physics, including the dynamics of Saturn’s rings and significant advances in the theory of heat and thermodynamics. In 1861 he showed the world’s first colour photograph at the Royal Institution.
His greatest scientific achievement lay in the synthesis of electricity and magnetism, showing the possibility of electromagnetic waves, of which light was the prime example. The celebrated Maxwell Equations encapsulate all electromagnetic phenomena in a few lines.
For a biography, see ‘The Man Who Changed Everything’ by Basil Mahon, Wiley 2003.
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NT2574, 1203 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Thursday, 25 November, 2010   (more nearby)
Submitted
Thursday, 25 November, 2010
Category
Statue   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 255 740 [100m precision]
WGS84: 55:57.2369N 3:11.6713W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 255 740
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East-northeast (about 67 degrees)
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