Updated: 1/29/2021

Storyboard Text

  • Here are a few scientists and their contribution to the EM Wave Theory.
  • James Clerk Maxwell (1876), an English scientist who developed a scientific theory to better explain electromagnetic waves. When Maxwell used this field theory to assume that light was an electromagnetic wave, and then correctly deduced the finite velocity of light, it was a powerful logical argument for the existence of the electromagnetic force field.
  • Heinrich Hertz, a German physicist who applied Maxwell’s theories to the production and reception of radio waves. The unit of frequency of a radio wave - one cycle per second - is named the hertz, in honor of Heinrich Hertz. He proved the existence of radio waves in the late 1880s. He used two rods that served as a receiver and a spark gap as the receiving antennae. Hertz showed in his experiments that these signals possessed all of the properties of electromagnetic waves.
  • Michael Faraday (1791-1867) is probably best known for his discovery ofelectromagnetic induction. His contributions to electrical engineering andelectrochemistry or due to the fact that he was responsible for introducing the concept of field in physics to describe electromagnetic interaction are enough for him to be highly recognized. But perhaps, it is not so well known that he had also made fundamental contributions to the electromagnetic theory of light.
  • André-Marie Ampère made the revolutionary discovery that a wire carrying electric current can attract or repel another wire next to it that’s also carrying electric current. The attraction is magnetic, but no magnets are necessary for the effect to be seen. He went on to formulate Ampere’s Law of Electromagnetism and produced the best definition of electric current during his time.
  • Hans Christian Oersted, a Danish physicist and chemist who discovered that the electric current in a wire can deflect a magnetized compass needle, a phenomenon the importance of which was rapidly recognized and which inspired the development of electromagnetic theory.