James Clerk Maxwell - Natural Philosopher
Birthplace, School and Statue

James Clerk Maxwell

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James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) was born at 14 India Street in the New Town in Edinburgh. The house was acquired in 1993 by the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation. The street dates from 1819.

Maxwell was one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. He ranks with Newton and Einstein as a formulator of a radically new way of understanding the physical world. He produced the unifying wave theory of electricity, magnetism and light and predicted the discovery of other forms of radiation obeying the same laws, which "ranks as one of the greatest leaps ever achieved in human thought" (Prof. R.V. Jones). His view of the physical world superseded that of Newton and his equations led to Einstein's special relativity theory. The modern electronic world is fundamentally based on his discoveries.
More about Maxwell at the website of the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation. 

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Maxwell went to school at Edinburgh Academy in Henderson Row. Basic Greek by William Burn, 1823-4 ... low profile and primitive Greek Doric order ... Portico and pediment of deep projection with four unfluted columns, the 'temple' axis maintained by the long oval of the hall's clearstorey lantern popping up behind. The contrary emphasis of the long frontage is acknowledged, however, by a single-column porch attached to each side. End pavilions after three regular bays ... (From Edinburgh by John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker (1991), Yale University Press).

  A statue was unveiled to James Clerk Maxwell in 2008. It is situated at the east end of George Street by St Andrew Square.  

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