William Gilbert also called as Gilberd was born on May 24, 1544 in Colchester Essex, England. He was a popular and great scientist and a researcher in magnetism. He became a distinguished scientist during the time of Queen Elizabeth I.
He studied in St. John’s College Cambridge and took his MD degree in medicine during 1569. He started his practice in London and became the personal Physician of the Queen Elizabeth I. He travelled extensively during 1573. He mainly concentrated his research on magnetism and concluded that earth itself is a great magnet and acts as a bar magnet and for this reason only that the compass always points towards north and south. He published his works on magnetism in1600 De Magnete, Magnetisque Corporibus, ET de Magno Magnete Tellure (On the Magnet and the Magnetic bodies, and on the great Magnet The earth). He was the first man to use the word Electricity in Latin as “Electricus”.
Gilbert used to argue that magnetism and electricity are different and that electricity disappears with heat and not magnetism even though it was not correct. It was proven that magnetism can be damaged and weakened by heat. Later some other scientists proved that both electric and magnetic are effects are a single force “Electromagnetism”. Gilbert also studied the moon’s surface without a telescope and concluded that the black spots are land and the light spots are water.
Gilbert died in London on 30 November 1603 with Bubonoic Plague.