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James Clerk MaxwellJames Clerk Maxwell was born in Edinburgh Scotland on the thirteenth of November in 1831 His original name was James Clerk Maxwell was added after his mother died when James was a mere eight years old In 1841 Maxwell was sent to the Edinburgh Academy when he was eleven At the Edinburg Academy Maxwell had two papers published by the Royal Society of Edinburg From the Edinburg Academy Maxwell began furthering his academic career at the University of Cambridge in 1850 There at the University of Cambridge he won honors and prizes in mathematics He went on to become a lecturer at Trinity College and in 1854 at Trinity College he obtained a mathematics degree Two years later he joined the faculty of Marischal College and married the daughter of the principal of Marischal College Kings College of London and Marischal College of Aberdeen combined Maxwell was appointed to Kings College in London in 1860 He retired in 1865 to carry on his laboratory work but returned back to Cambridge in 1871 While at Cambridge Maxwell planned the famous Cavendish laboratory and became the first Cavendish Professor Maxwells theory of electromagnetic waves established him as one of the greatest scientists in history Maxwells first major contribution to science was a study of the planet Saturns rings Maxwells theory was one of which the rings are composed of numerous small solid particles This theory was confirmed one hundred years later by the first Voyager space probe to reach Saturn Next Maxwell considered the kinetic theory of gases By treating gases statistically in 1866 he formulated independently of Ludwig Boltzmann the Maxwell-Boltzmann kinetic theory of gases This theory showed that temperatures and heat involved only molecular movement Although Maxwell did not originate the kinetic theory of gases he was the first to apply methods of probability and statistics to describe the properties of gas molecules
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