English physician and physicist William Gilbert

English physician and physicist William Gilbert

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Portrait of William Gilbert, English physician and physicist, born in 1544 and died in 1603. In 1600 Gilbert published a book entitled De Magnete ("Concerning Magnets"), a pioneering study in magnetism, which established his reputation as a physicist. One of Gilbert's great contributions was to suggest that the Earth was a large magnetic sphere & that a compass needle points not to the heavens, but to the magnetic poles on the earth. Joseph Priestly regarded him as "the father of modern electricity" and Galileo considered him to be the founder of experimentalism. Gilbert was also physician to Queen Elizabeth 1. This portrait was done by Clamp.

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Keywords: 16th century physicist, earth, father of electricity, gilbert, magnetic field, magnetism, physicist, pioneer, pioneering work, portraits, surname g, william

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