Latitude & the Magnetic Earth
Latitude & the Magnetic Earth The True Story of Queen Elizabeth's Most Distinguished Man of Science
By Stephen Pumfrey
Paperback, 249 pp
From the Publisher:
William Gilbert, royal physician to Queen Elizabeth I, was the most distinguished man of science to emerge from her reign. He is the inventor of the term ‘electricity,’ the father of electrical studies, the creator of modern magnetic science and – most famously – the discoverer of the Earth’s magnetic nature. Yet, incredibly, he is largely unknown.
Through close contact with the foremost mariners of his time, Gilbert learnt of the strange behavior of a compass needle – the magnetic ‘dip.’ Theorizing that the Earth is a giant magnet, a great body imbued with a ‘magnetic soul,’ Gilbert’s writings challenged the scientific orthodoxy of his day, and boldly led the battle to establish our modern ideas of terrestrial magnetism.
Lively and accessible, "Latitude & the Magnetic Earth" – the first new exploration of Gilbert for forty years – brings the story up to date, leaving the reader with vivid feel not only for the conflicts surrounding Gilbert’s discoveries and his scientific legacy, but for the man himself.
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