Thursday, January 14, 2010

James Clerk Maxwell: physicist and Christian

James Clerk Maxwell was arguably the greatest theoretical physicist of the nineteenth century, famous for Maxwell's equations in electromagnetism, Maxwell's Demon in statistical mechanics, the Maxwell relations in thermodynamics, Maxwell- distribution in kinetic theory of gases, ...

Ten years ago, one hundred of the leading physicists of the world were polled as to who were the greatest physicists of all time. Maxwell ranked third, after Einstein and Newton!

Ivan Tolstoy, author of one of Maxwell's biographies, remarked at the frequency with which scientists writing short biographies on Maxwell often omit the subject of his Christianity. Maxwell's religious beliefs and related activities have been the focus of several peer-reviewed and well-referenced papers.[55][56][57][58] Attending both Presbyterian and Episcopalian services as a child, Maxwell later underwent an evangelical conversion (April 1853), which committed him to an anti-positivist position.[57]

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