Maxwell was born and raised in Edinburgh (Scotland).




Who else came from Scotland?

David Hume

Hume's statue at the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.
    David Hume was also born and raised in Edinburgh. He is a very important person in physics. He developed the philosophy of physics, more precisely empiricism.

    His philosophy is not restricted to physics. Immanuel Kant developed his philosophy based on his experiences in the city of Koenigsberg. Click here for a story.

    Kant is an important person in physics. Einstein was a Kantianist before developing his own philosophy of physics.

    For further information about Hume, you are invited to his Wiki page.


Adam Smith

Adam Smith's statue at the Royal Mile in Edinburgh near the Cathedral of St. Giles.

Adam Smith appearing in
the 20-pound bank note of England.
    Adam Smith was born a village near Edinburgh, and he wrote his books while he was teaching at the University of Edinburgh.

    He developed the philosophy of money: to make and manage money by thinking.

    To research scientists these days, the degree of achievements is measured in terms of the amount of research grants from funding agencies. The termination of funding means a death sentence on research life.

    Is this the absolute rule? I am very happy to offer an exception to this rule. In 1974, the (U.S.) National Science Foundation stopped supporting my research program, but I have been more productive since then. This is my 40th year to publish papers without NSF support. I usually make three or four trans-Atlantic (or Pacific) trips per year. I also know how to run conferences while making profits.

    Many people wonder how I manage these without funding. I am also wondering. There definitely is a money issue. Some people say (I do not) money is higher than God, but I can say that the brain is more powerful than money. Perhaps this is what Adam Smith wanted to say while formulating his philosophy of money.


Alexander Graham Bell

    Bell was born and raised in Edinburgh. He then moved to Canada and the United States. He is known as the inventor the voice communication system known as the telephone.

    His interest was not restricted to telephones. He was interested in voice-recording devices.

    He was also interested in developing airplanes. He was as crazy as Thomas Edison, if not more. Here is the Wikipedia page for him.


Colin Maclaurin

    We use Taylor series routinely in physics. However, the original idea of series expansion came from this Scottish mathematician.

    Maclaurin invented the series expansion of f(x) in terms of f(x) and its derivatives at x = 0 .

    Brook Taylor later found that this processes can be done not only at x = 0 but also at other values of x . This is of course known as the Taylor series.


Charles Darwin

    Darwin was not born in Scotland. He attended the Univ. of Edinburgh Medical School in Scotland. We all know what he did.

    The point is that Darwin did not pull out his theory from the blue sky. He travelled around the world to see various species and their environments.

    His theory was strongly opposed by church authorities. This caricature tells how Darwin was ridiculed by the society. Even now, there are many places where his evolution theory is not allowed in class rooms.

    Click on this Wikipedia page for more detailed stories.


John Knox

Statue of John Knox (top) inside the Cathedral of St. Giles at the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.
    In 1534, Henry VIII of England broke away from Roman Catholic Church, and set up the Church of England. However, Scotland remained Catholic.

    On the other hand, the wave of reform movements was coming from the European continent. John Knox (1513-1573) was a Catholic clergy man with discontent with the church bureaucracy. He went to Switzerland and got reform ideas from John Calvin (1509-1564) , who a reformist along with Martin Luther (1483-1546) of Germany.

    Knox came back to Scotland, and started preaching in the Calvinist way at the Cathedral of St. Giles located at the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. His way of believing in Jesus became Presbyterianism, and he was the first Presbyterian pastor. These days, Presbyterians throughout the world constitute the largest Protestant denomination.


King James

King James of Scotland, England, and Ireland (1567-1625).

Royal Mile in Edinburgh where the King James Version was written in improved English, and was made available to the world.
    King James was King James VI of Scotland from 1567 to 1625, and was Kim James I of the Union of England and Ireland from 1602 to 1625. He moved from Edinburgh to London to succeed Queen Elizabeth I after her death in 1602.

    He was thus a very important figure for the entire land of Britain, and also to the new land of America. During his reign, many British immigrants came to America and settled down at a town in Virginia known today as Jamestown.

    From the scholarly point of view, his most important accomplishment was the translation into English of the Bible. He used his king's power to assemble all Bible scholars to do the job. The first English edition of the Bible is known today as the King James Version.

    It is also known that he formulated the idea of translation while he was the king of Scotland before coming to London. During the 19th Century, the King James Version was rewritten in improved English. This task was carried out in the area of Edinburgh known as the Royal Mile. There, copies of the English Bible were mass-produced and supplied to English-speaking countries throughout the world, including the United States and Canada.

    I was there in June of 2013, and here is one of the photos taken there.


John Witherspoon

Statue of Witherspoon in Princeton.

Princeton's Nassau Hall once served
as the government building of the United States.
    John Witherspoon was a Presbyterian minister in Scotland. He came to America to become the sixth president of the College New Jersey which later became Princeton University. Since the college took its shape during his presidency, Witherspoon was in effect the founding president of Princeton University.

    He set up a very high ethical code for the faculty and students. My PhD diploma (written in Latin) says "this person is morally perfect."

    Witherspoon was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. His college building (now Nassau Hall of Princeton University) once housed the government of the United States during the Independence War.

    Before he came, the college consisted of one building, but he had to add a number of new buildings. In order to take into account of those buildings and the college environment, he invented the word "campus." The campus is a very important concept to all of us. You may click here to see the campus of Princeton University.


Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie relaxing at his
Skibo Castle, but his heart is always
in the work as he says in the
Carnegie Tech emblem.


Carnegie's birth house in Dunfermline near Edinburgh, Scotland.
His parents owned only the left half of this house.
    I often brag about my Princeton background and my Wigner connection, but I spent the best four years of my life in Pittsburgh while I was an undergraduate student at Carnegie Tech (now called Carnegie Mellon University). When I say things of my own in physics, such as this, they are based on what I learned during my undergraduate years.

    I heard about Andrew Carnegie in Korea before I started thinking about going to the college built by him. I was always interested in how he became such a great man after coming to the United States from Scotland with two empty hands. In June of 2013, I was fortunate enough to visit his hometown called Dunfermline 20-minute train-ride away from Edinburgh. I took some photos there.

    1. As soon as I came out from the train station, I was greeted by a local lady. She knew I was coming to visit Carnegie's birth place. She told me how to go there.
    2. The house in which was Andrew born. His parents owned only the left half of this house, and I am standing at their door.
    3. Andrew used to sleep with his parents on this bed when he was a baby.
    4. His mother was a skilled shoe maker.
    5. His father was a skilled weaver, but he became jobless after the industrial revolution. The journey to the United States was torturous, and the family settled down in this run-down house near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
    6. Next to his birth house is a museum called "Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum." I took many photos inside this museum building. I hope to make a separate webpage when I have time.

John Ross and John MacIntyre



    After taking over Siberia and Alaska, Russia was interested in extending its influence to warmer areas of the world. Czar Alexander II sold Alaska to the United States in 1867, and encouraged Russians to move the northern Chinese town of Harbin (now a big city). Look at this map Harbin was at an excellent location from which to launch military operations toward the Korean peninsula.

  • In order to block this Russian ambition, the British government, headed by Queen Victoria and Benjamin Disraeli, sent two Scottish Presbyterian clergy men to a small town called Woochang just south of Harbin. There these two Scottish missionaries were interested in producing the Bible written in the Korean language, quite different from Chinese. They were initially interested in translating the King James version, but they could not find any Koreans who could read English. They decided to hire Koreans who could translate the Chinese Bible into Korean. They did.

    One of those translators came to Korea with the new Korean Bible to set up a church, but the Korean government would not allow him. His name was Suh Sang-Yoon. Suh had to settle down at a secluded farming village called Sorae, and set up a church in 1884.

  • Click here to read about how Christianity was enhanced in Korea by American missionaries.



copyright@2013 by Y. S. Kim, unless otherwise specified.
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