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What did James Clerk Maxwell invent?

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Quick Answer

James Clerk Maxwell invented color photography. He made the discovery after realizing that the human eye can only see three colors of light: red, green and blue.

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Full Answer

Once he came to that realization, he took three pictures on tartan, which is a woolen plaid cloth. He took one picture with a red filter, another with a blue filter and the last with a green filter. Then, he put all three photographs together at the same time and came up with a full-color picture of the tartan cloth. He made this photograph in 1861.

Before Maxwell invented the first color photograph, he was a well known scientist in other fields. He entered university in Edinburgh when he was 16, where he took physics. He earned many awards and excelled in his studies. He studied Saturn's rings, was appointed as the Chair of Natural Philosophy at Aberdeen University and became a professor at King's College.

After his invention, he went on to study electromagnetism and made many discoveries regarding the causes of electrical and magnetic behavior. He is the creator of Maxwell's Equations, which are still difficult to understand even for today's physicists. He suggested that there were other types of energy such as electromagnetic rays, UV rays and microwaves.

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