The Natural Philosophy of James Clerk Maxwell
This book provides an introductory yet comprehensive account of James Clerk Maxwell's (1831-79) physics and world view. The argument is structured by a focus on the fundamental themes that shaped Maxwell's science: analogy and geometry, models and mechanical explanation, statistical representation and the limitations of dynamical reasoning, and the relation between physical theory and its mathematical description. This approach, which considers his physics as a whole, bridges the disjunction between Maxwell's greatest contributions: the concept of the electromagnetic field and the kinetic theory of gases. Maxwell's work and ideas are viewed historically in terms of his indebtedness to scientific and cultural traditions, of Edinburgh experimental physics, and of Cambridge mathematics and philosophy of science, which nurtured his career. Peter M. Harman is Professor of the History of Science at Lancaster University. He has published primarily on the history of physics and natural philosophy in the 18th and 19th centuries, the period from Newton to Maxwell. His previous books include Energy, Force, and Matter (Cambridge, 1982), The Investigation of Difficult Things (Cambridge, 1992), After Newton: Essays on Natural Philosophy (Variorum, 1993), The Scientific Letters and Papers of James Clerk Maxwell, volume 1 (Cambridge, 1990), volume 2 (Cambridge, 1995).
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Edinburgh physics and Cambridge mathematics
Physical and geometrical analogy
Models and mechanisms
the electromagnetic theory of light
Dynamical and statistical explanation
Adams Prize argument atoms bodies calculation Chapter V.2 Clausius collisions concept curves discussion dynamical theory Edinburgh electric current Electricity and Magnetism electro-tonic electromagnetic field electromagnetic theory electrostatic energy equations established ether model experimental experiments explained expression Faraday effect Faraday's lines Faraday's theory field theory fluid Forbes gas molecules Gauss geometrical gravity Hamilton Helmholtz's hypothesis ideas induction James Clerk Maxwell kinetic theory law of thermodynamics laws of motion lecture letter lines of force magnetic field magnetic force magneto-optic effect matter Maxwell's medium metaphysics molecular physics molecular vortices molecules Natural Philosophy Newton's offorce optics paper particles Peter Guthrie Tait physical analogy physical lines physical theory potential principle propagation properties quantities quaternions relation representation rotation Royal Society Saturn's Rings scientific second law space spectral colours Stokes surfaces Tait theorem theory of gases theory of light Thomson and Tait's tion vector velocity viscosity vortex Whewell Whewell's