Liberty within the Laws of Order

Maxwell's conclusion that light was the propagation of perpendicular oscillating electric and magnetic fields universally changed the way people interpret the physical world. For the first time in history, mathematical field laws were used to justify physical phenomena, showing that answers lie within existing and accepted mathematical principles. In a letter written to his colleague R.B. Litchfield, Maxwell explains, "I say that there is a liberty which is not disorder, and that this is by no means less free than the other, but more". Knowing that he was fascinated by geometry and mechanical models as a child, it is evident that Maxwell believed in solutions derived from beautifully delicate and orderly mathematics. Instead of searching for a unique way to explain a mystery about the physical world, he used techniques he had already mastered and applied them to something new. Additionally, Maxwell showed that elements of life are not rigidly individualized, but rather intertwined with each other. He synthesized that light, electricity, and magnetism were "affections of the same substance", thus inspiring others to connect seemingly separate phenomena, too. 

Maxwell's Equations

Maxwell's Four Equations.