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Maxwell’s Equations: How They were Created, What They Mean, and How They Predicted the Discovery of Radio

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18:00 – 20:00 15 Feb 2018
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The Nick Whitehead Lecture Theatre, Wrexham Glyndwr University, Wrexham, Wrexham, United Kingdom, LL11 2AF

This public lecture hosted at Wrexham Glyndwr University is sponsored by the Institute of Physics in Wales, as part of the School of Applied Science, Computing and Engineering public evening lecture series.

 

 

 

Peter Excell,  Professor Emeritus from Wrexham Glyndwr University will talk about Maxwell's eqautions.

 

He will answer the questions,

  • How were they created?
  • What do they mean? and
  • How did they predict the discovery of radio?

 

It used to be the case that students would groan at the mention of “Maxwell’s Equations” – the deceptively brief but densely compressed statements of the behaviour of electric and magnetic fields.

The equations are significant because they predicted, almost out of the blue, the possibility of radio transmission of information: we take this for granted now, but the idea of sending invisible messages that can pass through walls, bend over hills and travel around the earth was mind-boggling at the time – and really should still be so today.

The story of radio, itself very intriguing, will be reviewed, covering Maxwell, who discovered the principle, but couldn’t do anything with it; Hertz, who demonstrated radio waves, but died too young to exploit them; and Marconi, the “idle rich kid”, who became fired with a passion to turn them into a valuable facility for mankind. Others mentioned will include earlier pioneers like Faraday, Ampere and Coulomb, and Marconi contemporaries such as Oliver Lodge, Jagdish Bose, and the inventors of the radio valve.

The story will be brought up to date with consideration of the massive changes resulting from the availability of cheap computer chips (notably the development of mobile phones), and a discussion of where things are going in the future.

 

The lecture will be preceded by refreshments at 6pm, with the lecture starting at 6:30 pm.  Please do take the trouble to register as this will help us to cater for the right numbers.  Registration is free, you don't need to be a member of the Institute of Physics.

 

 

 

 

Organised by: Institute of Physics in Wales & Wrexham Glyndwr University

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The Nick Whitehead Lecture Theatre, Wrexham Glyndwr University, Wrexham, Wrexham, United Kingdom, LL11 2AF
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18:00 – 20:00 15 Feb 2018

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