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William Gilbert

William Gilbert, 1540-1603, English scientist and physician to Queen Elizabeth.

Gilbert, also known as William of Colchester, performed important early studies of electricity and magnetism. In De Magnete (1600), he was the first to describe the earth's magnetic field and to postulate the relationship between electricity and magnetism. He introduced the term electricity into scientific discourse. The gilbert, a unit equal to one centimeter-gram-second of magnetomotive force, is named for him.