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James Clerk Maxwell Introduction James Clerk Maxwell was a British physicist Maxwell was born in Edinburgh Scotland on November 13 1831 He was educated at Edinburgh Academy from 1841 to 1847 He then entered the University of Edinburgh and went on to study at the University of Cambridge in 1850 graduating with a bachelors degree in mathematics in 1854 In 1860 he moved to London to become a professor of philosophy and astronomy at Kings College Due to the death of his father in 1865 Maxwell returned to his family in Scotland and devoted himself to research In 1871 he moved to Cambridge where he became the first professor of experimental physics and set up the Cavendish Laboratory which opened in 1874 Human Eye Color Maxwells first important contribution to science began in 1849 when he applied himself to examining how human eyes detect color He proved Youngs theory that the eye has three kinds of receptors sensitive to the primary colors He invented the trichromatic process Using red green and blue filters he took the first color photograph in 1861 of a tartan-patterned ribbon This proved to be the ancestor of all color photography Kinetic Theory Of Gases Maxwell was best known for his work on the connection between light and electromagnetic waves Electromagnetic waves are traveling waves of energy Maxwell discovered that light consists of electromagnetic waves and established the kinetic theory of gases The kinetic theory of gases explains the relationship between the movement of molecules in a gas and the gass temperature and other properties Maxwells improvement of the kinetic theory of gases was inspired by his success in the similar problem of Saturns rings He believed that a solid ring would collapse and that therefore the rings of Saturn must be made up of many small bodies orbiting the planet This was concluded through photographs taken from the spacecraft Pioneer
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