Gilbert writing on magnetism in 1575

Gilbert writing on magnetism in 1575

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Gilbert writing on magnetism in 1575. English physician, physicist and natural philosopher William Gilbert (1544-1603) published 'De Magnete' (Concerning Magnets) in 1600, a pioneering study in magnetism, which established his reputation as a physicist. He suggested that the Earth was a large magnetic sphere and that a compass needle points not to the heavens, but to the magnetic poles on the earth. Gilbert, who is considered one of the pioneers of electrical engineering, was also physician to Queen Elizabeth I. Artwork from 'Electricite' (1911) by Max de Nansouty, part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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