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William Gilbert

For other people named William Gilbert, see William Gilbert (disambiguation)

William Gilbert (or William Gylberde) May 24, 1544, Colchester, England - December 10, 1603, London?, English physician to Elizabeth I and James I and scientific researcher into magnetism and electricity. His primary work was De Magnete, Magneticisque Corporibus, et de Magno Magnete Tellure (On the Magnet and Magnetic Bodies, and on That Great Magnet the Earth) published in 1600. In this work he describes many of his experiments with his model earth called the terrella.

A unit of magnetomotive force, also known as magnetic potential, is named the gilbert in his honor.


Stephen Pumfrey & David Tilley, "William Gilbert: forgotten genius", Physics World, November 2003; [online edition]