Magnetic dip angle measurement, 1633

Magnetic dip angle measurement, 1633

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Magnetic dip angle measurement, as depicted in the 1633 edition of De Magnete by the English physician and natural philosopher William Gilbert (1544-1603). Magnetic dip is the angle by which a compass needle dips compared to the horizontal, an angle that varies with location on the Earth's surface. Here, the compass dial is freely floating and has dipped to the left. De Magnete, originally published in 1600, is a classic of experimental science and often regarded as the first great work of science to be published in England. Although he was a physician, Gilbert performed extensive experimental work on magnetism.

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