It was a Maxwell year as well, being the 150th anniversary of his paper showing the electromagnetic nature of light. The world marked the occasion by designating 2015 the International Year of Light, and a torch was carried around Scotland for the varied events. A film of his life was brought north from his home territory of Galloway.
Confirmation of Maxwell’s theory came with the discovery of radio waves, and the story of the early days of radio was told in a presentation from two museums of technology.
2015 was the centenary of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which pictured gravity as a warp in spacetime, and Prof. Martin Hendry of Glasgow University presented a lecture on ‘Einstein’s Universe’.
Prof. Rebecca Stott looked back to the man who first developed a theory of gravity, Isaac Newton, to bring his life – and some of the still unexplained aspects – into closer focus.
The theme of exploration appeared at several events, including the Sunday evening concert in St Magnus Cathedral with the Mayfield Singers and organist George McPhee, and readings that included an excerpt from astronomer Carl Sagan on the call of places unknown, of “undiscovered lands and new worlds”: