Faraday vs. Maxwell

  1. Although it is usually stated and taught that Maxwell developed pretty faithfully Faraday's views and experimental work into a mathematically solid theory, it is probably not widely known this is actually only partially correct, as Maxwell in fact changed much of Faraday's original theoretical framework in favor of his own(for example the ether idea that Faraday rejected explicitly), wich is understandable since he was not obliged to follow them, regardless his true admiration for the figure of Faraday. But nevertheless this theoretical breach was almost concealed or not sufficiently addressed at least by him and posterior theorists and historians of science.
    For info on Faraday see for instance the well known works of Agassi and Williams.

    I wonder what a mathematical treatment trully faithful to Faraday's original views would look like, but I don't think modern field theorists are much interested on his theoric work.
  2. jcsd
  3. maajdl

    maajdl 374
    Gold Member

    Are you not mixing up interpretation and theory?
    The scaffoldings that Maxwell needed have been removed long ago.
    Could you be more specific?
    And why would history matter from a scientific point of view?
  4. I don't think I'm interpreting, the writings of Faraday and the references I gave are easily accessible.
    Sure, by Einstein's relativity.
    Yes, for instance matter and fields were the same thing in Faraday's view but distinct in Maxwell's. Einstein apparently tended more to Faraday's view in this respect.
    Not history, scientific ideas regardless of the time they were formulated should matter from a scientific point of view, more so when they have not been fully acknowledged and developed.
  5. maajdl

    maajdl 374
    Gold Member

    But to me, the well-known works of Agassi and Williams are totally unknown!
    On Google, it returned me tennis information!
    Could you give me the exact references?
  6. Ha Ha, sorry about that!
    "Faraday as a Natural Philosopher"(University of Chicago Press) by Joseph Agassi
    "Michael Faraday: A Biography"(Basic Books) by L. Pearce Williams
    "Experimental Researches in Electricity" by Michael Faraday

    In any case I didn't intend the thread as a history discussion, but a physics one. I didn't even know this subforum existed and looking at the other threads mine feels really misplaced here. I guess one could fit it in a more specific "Physics history" subforum, but oddly enough for a Physics forums there isn't any.
  7. Maxwell was a smart man he could have found the theory of relativity before Einstein but he unfortunately died very soon
  8. maajdl

    maajdl 374
    Gold Member

    Maxwell died in November 1879 at 48.
    Einstein was then 8 months old.
    In 1905, Einstein was 26.
  9. 48 is a young age you see....
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