HE is the 19th century scientist described as Scotland's Einstein and seen by some as one of the nation's 'forgotten' heroes.

The work of physicist James Clerk Maxwell paved the way for many of the modern devices we all take for granted, such as mobile phones, radio and television.

He gave us the laws for one of the four fundamental forces of the Universe – the theory of electromagnetism – which caused a revolution in physics still felt today.

The Scot is the only scientist responsible for explaining the forces behind the radio in your car, the magnets on your fridge, the heat of a warm summer day and the charge on a battery.

His discoveries about how we see light and colour and his theory changed the way physicists perceived reality forever.

He is seen as the father of electrical engineering and is even credited with creating the first colour image.

Albert Einstein, the German-born theoretical physicist, best known for developing the theory of relativity, considered him a genius.

But while others were happy to flirt with the limelight and proclaim their genius, Mr Maxwell’s retiring nature and untimely death left his contributions relatively uncelebrated.

Now the Edinburgh-born's revolutionary work is to commemorated in a new event aimed at shining a new light on his work.

He will be the focus of a live-streamed tribute by Catherine Heymans, Scotland’s Astronomer Royal, who believes his life and legacy remain relatively unknown even in Scotland. It forms part of Big Bang Week, which runs from March 9 to 12, an annual children and young people’s festival of science and astronomy, organised by the Wigtown Festival Company.

The Herald:

She will be joined by Martin Hendry, a professor of gravitational astrophysics and cosmology at the University of Glasgow in a live discussion on Thursday to pay tribute to what they acknowledge is one of the greatest scientists of all time.

Born in Edinburgh on June 13, 1831 but raised in Dumfries and Galloway, Mr Maxwell is credited with achievements including working out that any colour of light could be made by mixing different amounts of blue, green and red light.

He showed this in 1855 on a colour triangle and his theory is the idea behind how colour screens on computers and mobiles work.

In 1861, he invented colour photography - taking photos using red, green and blue filters and then put the images together to make a colour image of a tartan ribbon.

Ms Heymans discovered the totality of Mr Maxwell's achievements when she took her undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh, where she is now Professor of Astrophysics.

Ms Heymans and Mr Hendry met at the birthplace of Mr Maxwell, 14 India Street where they drew inspiration for the event.

There they saw some of Mr Maxwell's birthplace memorabilia including the Zoetrope, which was used to create the illusion of moving images. Mr Maxwell managed to improve the original design by adding lenses to eliminate distortion.

They also saw the Maxwell Torch, created in 2015 by Mike Stoane Lighting of Loanhead, Edinburgh, for The International Year of Light and celebrating the 150th anniversary of James Clerk Maxwell’s papers that linked electric and magnetic forces.

Ms Heymans said: “Martin and I are really looking forward to this event – we’ll be broadcasting from the museum at James Clerk Maxwell’s birthplace in central Edinburgh, explaining his amazing scientific discoveries, and what they mean for us today. “Some of the greatest scientists come from Scotland, or have Scottish heritage, and we should celebrate them and make people more aware of them. So it's great that we have these festivals celebrating all the science that we're doing in Scotland. "