Definition of Maxwell's equations in US English:

Maxwell's equations

plural noun

  • A set of four linear partial differential equations which summarize the classical properties of the electromagnetic field.

    • ‘A contradiction arose as a consequence of the development of a very successful theory of electricity and magnetism in the nineteenth century, which is embodied in a set of differential equations known as Maxwell's equation.’
    • ‘He gave his famous four partial differential equations, now known as Maxwell's equations, which completely describe classical electromagnetic theory.’
    • ‘In essence, the special theory is the result of a marriage of Newton's equations of motion with Maxwell's equations describing radiation.’
    • ‘For example, in this limit, the quantum photon field behaves like the classical electromagnetic field as described by Maxwell's equations.’
    • ‘Then the effective conductivity of a cell suspension was calculated using a generalized Maxwell's equation, whereas numerically, the effective conductivity was calculated directly.’


Early 20th century: named after J. C. Maxwell (see Maxwell, James Clerk).