Maxwell's four major papers and some shorter publications relating to kinetic theory and statistical mechanics are discussed in the light of subsequent research in those subjects. Further information about the origin and development of Maxwell's ideas, based on study of unpublished materials and closer examination of less well-known articles, is reviewed, with reference to topics such as the velocity distribution law, the theory of heat conduction, the mechanism of the radiometer effect, the ergodic hypothesis, and Maxwell's views on the history of science.

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