Towards the end of the nineteenth century, before the beginnings of the new era of physics, the two long range forces, gravitation (mechanics of masses) and electromagnetism (mechanics of charges and currents), the two fundamental attributes of matter, held the center stage for understanding Nature. Encompassing them were two major theories, the concept of inertia and the laws of mechanics as propounded by Galileo and Newton, and the laws of electrodynamics as given by Faraday and Maxwell. By then it was also confirmed that light is an electromagnetic wave, having a finite velocity, albeit very large.