theories - History & Theories Ancient Times If you ask most...

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Ancient Times If you ask most people who discovered electricity, they’ll probably tell you Benjamin Franklin did. This is because everyone has heard the story of Franklin flying his kite during a lightning storm. This is NOT when electricity was discovered! Electricity was first mentioned in the works of a Greek scientist named Thales of Miletus in about 600BC! Thales noticed that if amber (hardened tree sap) was rubbed, it had the ability to pick up dust and leaves What he was seeing is what we now call “static electricity” Another Greek named Theophrastus noticed in 300BC that other substances had static electricity if rubbed. Unfortunately neither Thales nor Theophrastus had any scientific explanation for it… they just thought it was interesting. Middle Ages In 1600AD an Englishman named William Gilbert started studying these phenomena. He wanted to come up with a good scientific explanation for these ancient discoveries. He was actually the first person to use the word “electric”, which is the Greek name for amber. Although he had only some success in describing electricity, he was able to show that there were differences between magnetism and electricity. Up until that point most scientist believed they were different versions of the same thing. The “Modern” Era
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This note was uploaded on 02/29/2012 for the course PHYS 227 taught by Professor Rabe during the Fall '08 term at Rutgers.

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theories - History & Theories Ancient Times If you ask most...

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