James Clerk Maxwell
Maxwell, James Clerk (1831–79), Scottish theoretical physicist. His most important work was in electricity, magnetism, and his kinetic theory of gases. He also studied color vision, elasticity, optics, Saturn's rings, and thermodynamics. Maxwell's equations, 4 linked differential equations, extend the work of Michael Faraday and others and completely define the classical theory of the electromagnetic field. Maxwell's most famous work was Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism (1873). Its main concepts are considered to be the basis for Albert Einstein's theory of relativity and the quantum theory.
See also: Electromagnetic waves.