1600 Magnetism

The book of science

Tom Sharp

William Gilbert electromagnetism Magnetism


Experimental method

Action at a distance

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 attractive property.

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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