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Gilbert

  1. English court physician and physicist whose book De Magnete (1600) was the first comprehensive scientific work published in England. Gilbert demonstrated that the Earth itself is a magnet, with lines of force running between the North and South Poles. He theorized that magnetism and electricity were two types of a single force and was the first to use the words electricity and magnetic pole.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.