Celebrating James Clerk Maxwell
We are delighted to welcome Professor Peter Grant as the first speaker for the 2023-2024 series of Crichton Conversations. Peter received a BSc from the Heriot-Watt University and following an Edinburgh PhD, has been awarded three honorary Doctorates from the Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh Napier and the University of Edinburgh.
Following 5 years in industry he moved to the University of Edinburgh where he was later appointed to merge the four separate Engineering Departments into a single budget center, serving as the first head of the School of Engineering, 2002-08. In 2007 he was appointed as the 8th Regius Professor of Engineering at Edinburgh and later received an OBE.
His research in signal processing for communication systems, has received several best paper prizes, culminating in the 82nd (2004) Faraday Medal award by the Institution of Electrical Engineers.
He was President of the European Association for Signal Processing, 2000-02, and holds Fellowships of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He served for 14 years as a Trustee of the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation, 2008-2022.
Peter’s presentation introduces James Clerk Maxwell, born in 1831, the most important scientist in the era between Newton and Einstein. First we explore Maxwell’s family background and his inquisitive childhood before introducing several of his many scientific advances starting with his work on oval curves when he was only 14 years old and his later prediction of the form and nature of Saturn’s rings. The presentation then concentrates on his two major advances: colour reproduction and his set of 20 equations on the “Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field”, providing the first theory governing electromagnetic wave generation which is so important in today’s world. Maxwell’s legacy is commemorated at the former family estate, Glenlair, and the small museum in his birthplace, 14 India Street, Edinburgh.
This lecture has been generously sponsored by the Glenlair TrustBack to Events