William Gilbert was a physician, serving as the president of
the Royal College of Physicians and as the personal physician of
Elizabeth I and, later, James I.
Gilbert invented the first electrical measuring instrument, the
electroscope. Our word electricity derives from his use
of the Greek word for amber, elektron, to stand for its
Today, particle physicists model an electromagnetic field as
an exchange of virtual photons. It is one of the four fundamental
physical interactions—electromagnetic, gravitational, strong
nuclear, and weak nuclear.
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