Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Charles Augustin de Coulomb (1736 – 1806)

Coulomb, a French physicist, began his career as a military engineer in the West Indies. In 1776, he returned to Paris and retired to a small estate to do his scientific research. He invented a torsion balance to measure the quantity of a force and used it for determination of forces of electric attraction or repulsion between small charged spheres. He thus arrived in 1785 at the inverse square law relation, now known as Coulomb’s law. The law had been anticipated by Priestley and also by Cavendish earlier, though Cavendish never published his results. Coulomb also found the inverse square law of force between unlike and like magnetic poles.