Edinburgh - Visit to the birthplace of James Clerk Maxwell

Edinburgh - Visit to the birthplace of James Clerk Maxwell

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Hosted by the Cambridge Society of Edinburgh
Tuesday, 19 March 2019 - 6.00pm to 8.00pm GMT
Open to: 
Alumni and guests

James Clerk Maxwell is considered by many to be one of the three greatest physicists of all time, along with Newton and Einstein. He was born in 1831 at 14 India Street. He took his first degree at Edinburgh University and then a maths degree at Cambridge. He later returned to Cambridge to become the first Cavendish Professor of Physics and was put in charge of developing the Cavendish laboratory.

This guided tour, by David Forfar FRSE, former Chairman of the Maxwell Foundation (and Cambridge alumnus) will start with a slide presentation of the history and scientific work of Maxwell whose discoveries ushered in the era of modern physics and laid the foundations for special relativity, quantum mechanics and the development of television, mobile phones, X-rays etc.

The house itself contains many wall-posters and models (several of which will be demonstrated) illustrating the scientific work of Maxwell. Attendees will see the famous photograph showing Einstein in his study with the photograph of Maxwell hanging on the wall.

Number 14 India Street was built in 1820 and was bought by the Maxwell Foundation in 1993 as a result of hundreds of donations including ones from the Cavendish Laboratory and Trinity College (where Maxwell was a Fellow). The interior wall colours have, as far as possible, been restored to the original colours with advice from Historic Scotland, so the visit should appeal to those with more of an arts background as well as those with more scientific proclivities.

Members may bring guests, please advise us of their names.

Wine and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided. Members are also welcome to join the Committee for dinner at the New Club afterwards. Please advise us of your wish to do so and let us know of any dietary requirements. 

Booking information

For more information and to book, please email the Society on the link below. 



James Clerk Maxwell’s Birthplace
14 India Street
EH3 6D
United Kingdom