French physicist Charles Augustin de Coulomb (1736-1806) is celebrated for his researches in electricity and magnetism. He was one of the first to measure how electric charge behaved, by observing the attracting and repelling forces they exerted on wire. Coulomb experimented on friction, and invented the torsion balance for measuring the force of magnetic and electrical attraction. The coulomb, the unit of quantity in measuring current electricity, is named after him.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library