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superseded that of Newton and his equations led to Einstein's special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
More about Maxwell at the
website of the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation.
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).