Coulomb, Charles Augustin de

Coulomb, Charles Augustin de ko͞oˈlŏm, ko͞olŏmˈ, Fr. shärl ōgüstăNˈ də ko͞olôNˈ [key], 1736–1806, French physicist. In 1789 he retired from his posts as military engineer and as superintendent of waters and fountains and devoted himself to continuing his scientific research. He was known for his work on electricity, magnetism, and friction, and he invented a magnetoscope, a magnetometer, and a torsion balance that he employed in determining torsional elasticity and in establishing Coulomb's law. The unit of quantity of electric charge, the coulomb, is named in his honor.

See study by C. S. Gilmor (1971).

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