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Homework Help: Maxwell and his equations essay - should i include aether theory heavily?

  1. Nov 15, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Im writing an essay titled Maxwell and his equations. I want to talk about his electrodynamic theory and how his equations showed that light is an electromagnetic wave. I then want to include his involvement in aether theory since he had devised a theory to explain magnetism with an aether concept. But, the problem is i'm not sure if this seems like an obvious choice to discuss this concept since i would like to discuss the Michelson morely experiment and go on to talk about lorentz invaraince and how it was showed that aether theory's did not match experimental results.

    The essay is 2000 words long and i want to spend half the essay on maxwells electrodynamic theory and the second half on maxwells aether theory but predominantly how the aether was shown to be unlikely to exist and then with the advent of relativity, how it became unneccesary. I do think it will be a nice way to conclude Maxwell's story since it has a firm conclusion but i also do feel like im just indulging my own curiosity in aether theory and am worried that the markers might question the relavence of the aether theory portion of the essay.

    Also, i feel a bit odd by concentrating on this aspect in an essay about Maxwell since his aether theory essentially became obsolete after M-M experiment. Ugh, i need opinions please!!

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 8, 2010 #2
    I think you should include his theory and even his history in order for your essay to be presentable. And you don't know later on your essay will be consider as the most academic essay around the world!
  4. Jun 12, 2010 #3
    I can't really say what you should or should not include. I'd say to actually make a essay plan of all the things you want to cover, and work out how to include all of those things. That way you won't run over the word limit, or devote too much of the essay to one part or another. :smile:
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