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Charles Augustin Coulomb (1736-1806), French physicist. Coulomb trained as an engineer, and is most famous for his investigations into mechanics, electricity and magnetism. He studied friction and designed and used torsion balances to research the laws of electrical and magnetic forces and of the distribution of electrical charge on surfaces. Coulomb's Law, relating electrical force to the amount of electrical charge involved, is named for him, as is the standard international unit (the SI unit) of charge: the coulomb.
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