maxwell hertz the maxwellians and the early history of EM Waves

In 1864, Maxwell conjectured from his famous equations that light is a transverse electromagnetic wave. Maxwell’s
conjecture does not imply that he believed that light could be generated electromagnetically. In fact, he was silent about electromagnetic
waves, and their generation and detection. It took almost a quarter of a century before Hertz discovered electromagnetic
waves and his brilliant experiments confirmed Maxwell’s theory. Maxwell’s ideas and equations were expanded,
modified, and made understandable by the efforts of Hertz, FieGerald, Lodge, and Heaviside. the last three being referred to
as the “Maxwellians.” The early history of electromagnetic waves, up to the death of Hertz in 1894. is briefly discussed. The
work of Hertz and the Maxwellians is briefly reviewed in the context of electromagnetic waves. It is found that historical facts
do not support the views proposed by some, in the past, that Hertz’s epoch-making findings and contributions were “significantly
influenced by the Maxwel1ian.s.”

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