The Great Magnet, the Earth
A Millennium of Geomagnetism, included here, first appeared 9/2002 in Rev. Geophys and covers the material in more technical detail
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If you lived in London in 1600, you could have purchased "De Magnete" for seven shillings and sixpence. To read it, of course, you would have to know Latin, the language of science in 1600. You might have had the rare privilege of attending first runs of Shakespeare's plays in the "Globe" theatre--sitting in the balcony if you could afford it, standing in front of the stage if not. However, you might have had to weigh this pleasure against the peril of bubonic plague, which usually spread in the city during summer months.
This web site tells the story of Gilbert and his book--with glimpses of London in 1600, and with studies of magnetism before Gilbert. It then recounts the later history of the Earth's magnetism, including...
An Index to the Web Site
2. Another review of "De Magnete"
(By Stuart Malin and David Barraclough
in Eos of 23 May, 2000).
3. More about "De Magnete"
4. Performing Gilbert's Experiment on Induced Magnetism
5. What was known in Gilbert's Time
6. London in 1600
7. Magnetism from Gilbert to 1820
12. The Dynamo Process
G l o s s a r y
"A Millennium of Geomagnetism"
Of Special Interest to Science Teachers
"Teaching About Magnetism" (with demonstrations)
Teaching Geomagnetism in an Earth Sciences Class , a short article with suggestions on using this material in schools, incl. demonstrations using opaque projector.
Teaching about the Earth's Magnetism in Earth Sciences, a one-hour illustrated talk given by the author 18 November 2000 before the regional meeting of the National Association of Science teachers (NSTA). For faster loading, this document is divided into 3 parts.
Go to Part 2
Go to Part 3
"A Teacher's Introduction to the Earth's Magnetosphere" (illustrated talk)
Note: If you liked what you found here, you might want to look up other (much larger!) web sites by the same author, on magnetism in space and on spaceflight and astronomy:
Author and Curator: Dr. David P. Stern
Mail to Dr.Stern: earthmag("at" symbol)phy6.org
Last updated 19 June 2014