J. C. Maxwell’s, ‘Dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field’

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                                As energy is essentially positive it is impossible for any part of space 
to have negative energy. Hence those points of space in which 
there is no resultant force, such as the points of equilibrium in the space between 
the different bodies of a system and within the substance of each body 
must have an intrinsic energy per unit of volume greater than 
where R is the greatest possible value of the intensity of gravitating force 
in any part of the universe 
The assumption therefore that gravitation arises from the 
action of the surrounding medium in the way pointed out, leads 
to the conclusion that every part of this medium possesses when 
undisturbed an enormous intrinsic energy, and that the pressure 
of dense bodies influences the medium so as to diminish this energy 
wherever there is a resultant attraction 
As I am unable to understand in what way a medium can 
possess such properties I cannot go any further in this direction 
in searching for the cause of gravitation. 

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Manuscript details

James Clerk Maxwell
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Cite as

J. C. Maxwell’s, ‘Dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field’, 1864. From The Royal Society, PT/72/7



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