Electrostatics Timeline

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Girolamo Cardano

1550

Girolamo Cardano distinguishes between electrical and magnetic forces in De subtilitate rerum

Robert Boyle

1675

Robert Boyle states that electric attraction and repulsion can act across a vacuum.

Benjamin Franklin

1752

Benjamin Franklin establishes the link between lightning and electricity by the flying a kite into a thunderstorm and transferring some of the charge into a Leyden jar.

Charles Coulomb

1785

Charles Coulomb introduces the inverse-square law of electrostatics.

Michael Faraday

1831

Michael Faraday began experiments leading to his discovery of the law of electromagnetic induction.

Michael Faraday

1845

Michael Faraday discovers that light propagation in a material can be influenced by external magnetic fields.

J.J. Thompson

1897

J. J. Thomson discovers the electron.

Robert Millikan

1907

Robert Millikan uses the oil-drop experiment to measure the charge of an electron.