3. More about Gilbert's Work
1. De Magnete
2. De Magnete
3. More on "De Magnete"
4. A Gilbert Expt.
5. Before Gilbert
6. London in 1600
8. Oersted & Ampére
9. The Lodestone
11. The Magnetic Sun
In addition to studying magnets. Gilbert also looked into a vaguely similar phenomenon--the fact that certain materials, when lightly rubbed with cloth or fur, attracted light objects such as chaff. One such material was amber, a yellow fossilized resin called elektron by the ancient Greeks. From this Gilbert named such attraction the "electrick force," and from that came such words as electric charge, electricity, electrons and electronics. Gilbert even devised a pivoted lightweight needle--a "versorium" resembling a compass needle--to observe the direction of the electric force.
About the Background: 6. London in 1600
Next Stop: 7. Magnetism from Gilbert to 1820
Author and Curator: Dr. David P. Stern
Mail to Dr.Stern: earthmag("at" symbol)phy6.org
Last updated 25 November 2001 Re-formatted 18 March 2006